Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WONDERful Start to the Year

The best lesson plans do not always make it into my lesson plan notebook. I had thought long and hard about how I was going to introduce my class to Wonderopolis. I even blogged about what I was planning on doing to set the tone for the year. Enter 23 new shining faces that are eager to learn and explore and my lesson plans changed instantly.  Some would call that pulling out of a hat I however call it great teaching.  

As I introduced my class to Wonderopolis, and I explained the different sections of each wonder and of course they fell in love with the videos and all of the fun links.  I knew this would happen what I didn't expect was their curiosity and excitement for other wonders. They automatically wanted to search for past wonders to watch the videos and learn some new facts. How could I say no?  We headed over to the computer lab and as they left the room I handed them their WONDER notebook which I made up at the end of last year just to have in my cabinet for a day like this. I sure am glad I did that because I had no idea this was where the lesson was going to end up.

You can see the WONDER notebook on his clipboard.

Before I "set them free to WONDER" I asked them to write the WONDER they chose at the top of their page and to take some time to notice the different sections of the wonder.  They were encouraged to write 3-4 new facts they learned as well as 1-2 ways the vocabulary words were used in the article. Finally they were able to make a prediction about the next day's wonder which was fun because that led them to another wonder to see if they were correct. I wish I could have audio taped the comments that I heard: "Did you know that a praying mantis does not pray?" "When you make colored glass, you have to use sand." "I didn't know that flamingos are pink because of what they eat."  It was fun to see and listen to their excitement on the second day of school, and they didn't even know they were reading non fiction-priceless. 

How do You Color Glass notes-great new facts!

On a side note, as we were in the computer lab, our assistant superintendent came into the lab on his walk through of our building and asked what the students were doing?  I answered, "They are researching and learning about topics that they are interested in." He responded, "Wow on the second day of school" and I said,"Yes" with a huge smile. 


  1. I just want to thank you for all your posts about Wonderopolis. I introduced the site to my school's classroom teachers as part of their professional development. They were very enthusiastic. Thank you again -- your teaching is phenomenal.

  2. Thanks NG-I am so happy that other classrooms are learning about Wonderopolis. I appreciate your kind words you made me smile on a Sat. morning.

  3. Don't you love it when you have a WITNESS to your great teaching! (and the asst. supt. to boot!!!)