Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Wonderopolis Visit

Right before we left for break, Wonderopolis came to visit us!  It was such a wonderful experience for my students to see "in real life" the people who help create a website we love in our classroom on a regular basis.  To prepare, each classroom in our school created a "wonder jar", filled with thoughts and questions the students had.  My class followed both a curricular line and a natural curiosity by filling our jar with wonders about natural resources.  Once we started generating a few ideas, the kids really caught the spark of questioning!  It was one of those rare moments when learning becomes a passion for a whole group at once. They wanted to spend time researching to get "just the right" questions for the jar, and it led down a fantastic path of guided research.  I ended up 'secretly' teaching most of our science standards on natural resources just through this exploratory research for the jar.  It was an exciting experience for all of us, and it really got us ready for the visit!
Our wonder jar
Up close on the jar

Our third grade students got to help select a wonder for study that the first graders of our school had suggested.  It was great for the kids to see that the Internet has "authors"; that actual people write, research, and validate the information that appears on the page for them to read.  Often, younger kids don't understand that concept- that someone has to put the information on the Internet- it just doesn't magically appear there.  I'm glad my students were able to grasp that understanding and have a chance to interact with the wonderful people from Wonderopolis!  They were so generous too, leaving us with a "wonder jar" to keep the wonders flowing! Thanks for a great visit Wonderopolis!
The contents of our wonder jar

1 comment:

  1. It was a great day! When you mentioned "you secretly taught most of your science standards", it reminded me how when true inquiry is in place...questions are developed and shaped by kids and we use our curriculum to connect to their curiosity. You put their thinking at the forefront to guide. Great post! Can't wait to hear more from you :)