We just finished our first full week of school and like most teachers I totally overplanned the first week! I am still moving some plans into the next week, but as I reflect on our first week there were 3 exciting surprises for me.
WONDER books and we previewed WONDER #332 about the Sun which connected to our Earth and Space unit perfectly. For HW, the students had to watch the video, read the article, try a link and make a prediction for Thursday's WONDER. In addition, they had to write 5 new facts as well as use 3 new vocabulary words in a sentence.
Here was the surprise: As we shared on Thursday, I had the students read a friend's wonder book and share one fact that was strong! We posted them on this chart and as I wrote them the students were commenting how their friends facts were better than their own-so we discussed why. As a class, we came up with criteria for our WONDER facts including: using data to support thinking, using more details in the sentences, try to compare/contrast new facts and finally integrate the vocabulary instead of isolating it. WOW that was a lot to learn from one WONDER HW assignment!
My next surprise was how quickly my class picked up on my suggestion to leave a comment on the site. In the left corner you might see a #9 circled which means 9 students left a comment on one of the week's WONDERS. I am excited about that because of the home/school connection because to leave a comment the students had to talk to their parents and use an email address. We set a goal to increase that number next week.
Finally the students were asking about how the WONDERS are chosen I told them that kids just like them can nominate one because there is a link at the top of every WONDER. Samia actually went home that night and nominated -Why are there holes in cheese? I was so excited and wouldn't it be neat if her WONDER might be chosen in the future-talk about opening the doors of our classroom.
It was a tiring but a WONDERful week, but I have to admit I am thankful for 3 day weekend.