Saturday, September 3, 2011

Unexpected Surprises with Wonderopolis

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. 

First we are continuing our tradition of WONDERful Word Wednesday with a little twist this year-we are looking at Wonderopolis every Wed. including "Mystery Picture" posted on twitter.  Our class got the correct answer last week-what a fun way to start the year!!  The students started their 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.


  1. It's amazing what happens next door! So glad you introduced us to Wonderopolis, my class is enjoying it too! ~sarah

  2. Maria~
    Keep posting your innovative WONDERful ideas! I am still thinking about this in our first grade classroom and reading your post are inspiring!