Sunday, April 17, 2011

Traveling Down an Unknown Road- Creating Wonder Pages

I have a dark hidden secret that I finally have to let you know about- I am not always sure what the final end product is going to be when I start a new writing unit especially research.  In the past I  have had them create ABC books, a take off on the Magic School House books, and posters with flip cards. Once again this year, I am going down a road that I have never traveled, but we are all very excited about our journey. Have you ever traveled down an unknown road?

The first thing I had to do once I committed to wonder pages
for their final project was to talk to Mr. Mark.  I typically have these HUGE ideas and then I tell Mark what I want to do and he tells me the tool that we can use.  Again, the lesson/objectives/indicators were chosen first and the the technology tool to support the writing was chosen second. I presented Mark with these goals:

*model after the Wonderopolis pages (similar layout)
*integrate new technology:  adding videos and creating links
*force the students to choose the most important research that they have learned-not use it all
*intertwine vocabulary throughout every page
*import graphics that support the text

Finally Mark suggested iWeb which a new tool for me-so I spent the past two weeks playing (oh I mean learning) about it.  I like the ease of it-students get to choose their own design (there are about 15) and the pages are set up for them to basically just drop and drag.  I LOVE this part of it.

My next step was to create a rubric so the expectations will be clear for the students. They will  have to do their thinking at home ie: rough draft their wonder pages.  One negative for iWeb is the students can not work on them at home I am not sure if that is gong to be a big drawback or not. Here is a copy of my rubric so you will be able to see the requirements that I have outlined for my class. The * represent where the students will be filling in their choice vocabulary and links. In addition, I offered some "extra credit" to students to push them just a little bit further.  PS: All the credit for the name goes to Mark: Baileyopolis! LOVE that too.


  1. What about using wikis? Wikispaces and PBWorks are both free and students don't need email addresses.

  2. We have wikis within our school server that students can access at home by using a password. I have used them for the "conversations" about topics where students can offer feedback to each other. They are locked to the outside which is what our district required right now.