Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unexpected Learning-Check it out!

I could burst with excitement about all of the unexpected learning and experiences that the students had creating their wonder pages.  As I conferenced with the students, I sat in amazement as I listened to the thinking and research that went on behind the scenes? 

One of my HUGE goals was to allow technology to break down the wall-allow learning to go beyond our classroom.  We met this goal when we skyped with Mr. Fine's kindergarten class in MT on Poem in your Pocket Day!  Well to my complete surprise,  Kyoka and Jennifer's wonder pages took them all the way to Japan. Jennifer's wonder question was What is the difference between tsunami and earthquakes?  As the girls were talking, Kyoka offered to email some questions from Jennifer to her friend in Japan.  Kyoka translated the 10 questions and emailed them to her friend in Japan. She then translated the answers back to English and shared with Jennifer a picture of her friend as well as a picture that her friend drew for Jennifer all through email.  Talk about virtually traveling around the world for research.

Next the students are always reading and thinking about Wonderopolis and I have to admit their learning at home is happening more than the time we are spending in the classroom-what a great problem to have!  Look at these comments and the time she posted :) Notice how she connects the wonder with the book she is reading and how she made the connections to our explorer's unit.

Finally the 21st Century skills: create, communication, and collaborate. I can't even begin to explain how the students have gone above and beyond the rubric in creating their pages. Many of the students have found links that are interactive games. sites that take the reader to a specific location, and more specific facts about their wonder topic.  As far as collaboration, if I haven't written enough about allowing your students to explore and help each other then I would challenge your students the chance to solve their own tech. problems, help each other with the set up, and finally create amazing wonder projects.

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