Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Oughta Know About: A Blog Hop ~ Wisdom Can Begin with Wonder

Come join us on the You Oughta Know Blog Hop.

Imagine. Explore. Learn. Grow. Start a lesson with "Have you ever wondered..." and pique the interest of your students. Use technology and interesting topics/images to hook and engage your students. Something you oughta know for your classroom is Wonderopolis.

Wonderopolis is one site that can help to address CCSS: Reading Informational Text. Students can use text, videos, and pictures to help answer the guiding questions. Find some wonders that might work with your units of study. Might you find a topic that relates to a unit of study in science? Or find a topic that connects to a story in reading? Wisdom can begin with wonder.

Wonderopolis is a great way to engage students. Each day there is a new wonder...posed as a question. To begin have students predict answers to the wonder question of the day. These questions are just like the questions students often ask, yet we don't always know the answer to. Do you know why batteries are different sizes? Click here to find out.

And...look at all the great resources you will find to engage students for each wonder.  The text and the short video guide students to finding an answer to the wonder question. For each wonder, students will find Wonder Words that students can use for vocabulary work. There is a Try It Out section that students can complete at home to extend learning. What a great way to  foster the home/school connection. The Still Wondering section allows children to explore the wonder through a different context. Wonder What's Next piques students' interest about upcoming wonders.

Here are some ways I have used this website in class.
  • Have students explore the wonders and then answer the question in their reading journal.
  • Project a wonder with a doc camera for students to read. For younger students, the wonder can be read to students as they follow along. Pass out something similar to wonder stems to each student for them to complete and share during discussion. Then students can work on finding evidence from the text to answer the wonder question after the discussion occurs. Click on the image to grab a few wonder stems.
  • Have students watch the video and write a one sentence summary.
  • Read the text and have students write three new facts they learned. 
Check out this Wonder Mat where students can record their ideas after investigating a WONDER. Click on the image to grab the FREEBIE.

 The possibilities are endless!

Another way to foster wonder is to show unusual photos that might elicit student curiosity. Consider these possible sources for finding unusual pictures: Pinterest, Flickr, and Google Images.  What do you wonder about when you see the image below? Post an image like this and have students generate questions. Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to write rich questions.

Wisdom can begin with wonder. I combined all my activities in a product: Dare to Wonder. Check out the preview to see some of the ways I incorporate these ideas in the classroom.

Don't forget to continue on the blog hop to see what other bloggers are sharing!

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  1. Love your post. I use this method in my science classes. I am loving the watermelon picture. What a great I wonder. I wonder if I can use that?

    Renee at The Science School Yard

  2. So exciting to hear! Give the watermelon picture a try!! It creates a great discussion.

  3. First of all, you blog is beautiful! Second, what a great idea to integrate informational reading, writing and research. Thanks!

  4. I've never heard of Wonderopolis until now, and I'm saving it to use once school starts! Can't wait to use it! I think my sweet seconds are going to LOVE it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!

    1. So excited that you saw it. Oh, your second graders will love it. You may even get a few squeals when you pose a wonder that they are REALLY interested in!!

  5. What a great resource!! I'm pinning this to my informational text board so I don't forget about it in the craziness of back to school Thanks for a great tip!

  6. Glad to hear you found the post useful!! Thanks for stopping by Pam's Place.

  7. I love the Wonder Stems. It's so important to get students involved right from the very beginning. Thanks for sharing.
    Crockett's Classroom . . . Forever in Third Grade

  8. Thank you! I agree that stems whether they are wonder stems, question stems, or math stems...they all encourage active engagement. Glad you stopped by Pam's Place.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing about wonder stems. I think that it would be a great tool to use for journal writing.

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

  10. Thank you for stopping by. What student wouldn't like to journal write about a wonder, right?!?