Thursday, August 4, 2011

Start Your New Year Off With Inquiry

How do you learn about your new class? Do you play Tic Tac Toe get to know you game?  Do they create a poster about their favorite activities?  Do you play 3 facts and 1 opinion?  I have done all of these in years past, but this year I am going to try something new.  

I have been pondering how to introduce Wonder Jars as well as Wonderopolis and I believe I have found the answer.  I have decided to start the year with looking at past wonders that I know last year's class LOVED. For example Wonder #100 (What is a Milestone?)  Wonder #152 (How Does a Species  Become Endangered?) Wonder #162 (What is Pi?) We will probably even eat pie and have a little Word Study integration. I plan on looking at a wonder a day and just talking about it but more important in the beginning is to ask the students what would be some artifacts that would represent this particular wonder.  I know this would have them think differently about the wonder as well as begin to hook them on the site.

Connecting all of this back to getting to know my class after 2-3 days I am going to model for my class my artifacts that tell about my life.  I will bring the artifacts in and explain why I have chosen them. I will ask my students to bring in a few artifacts that would describe them and encourage them to share about different parts of their life. Right now I am thinking about taking their picture and having them glue it in their writer's journal as an anchor picture for future writing projects. 

My artifacts that I will bring into my classroom.
  I am very excited about a new inquiry start to the school year as well as introducing non fiction the first few weeks of school and they might not even realize it :) 


  1. Thanks for sharing how you are going to connect Wonderopolis to your artifact sharing! What a great way to get kids excited about the site and nonfiction! I am thinking that I am going to ask them to also bring in one artifact that represents something they wonder about and put it in our class wonder jar. Maybe some of these artifacts will inspire curiosity and future inquiry! Keep your Wonderopolis ideas coming! :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas-I LOVE them!

  3. I love the artifact exercise- so important for the kids to learn about you so you can all connect. I'm going to ask the assistants to find a picture book as a vehicle to tell the students about themselves- but now I may add artifacts- great idea.

  4. Maria,
    So much potential with wonder jars! I think it would be great to use something like this at the beginning of the year as a way to get to know kids, but then move it into growing ideas for writing workshop. Of course, I'm also thinking it would be a great way to kick off science & wonder. Decisions. Decisions.

    Thanks, once again, for giving me more to think about!

  5. Thanks for all your great comments and once again I learn so much from my colleagues now all of you have give me more to think about. Hopefully will have time to think on the beach next week during vacation :)