Friday, March 29, 2013

Encourage Wonder with Wonderopolis Website


by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog mattBgomez.comTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.

It was a very hard decision but I chose Wonderopolis as the most important site for my class this year (Symbaloo was a close second). This site is amazing for inspiring wonder, creativity and thinking. The opportunities for learning are endless! Wonderopolis is a site that post a "Wonder of the Day" every day. Some of our favorites included Do Hummingbirds Really HumAre Monster Trucks Scary, and Why Do You Sneeze, just to name a few.  I would visit the page with my class most mornings and we would explore the wonder together. I found the site to be a powerful learning tool because I did not teach or plan anything. This made it easier for me to let the kids lead the discussion and learning. I also loved how the topics were outside the typical discussion I would bring up in Kindergarten. What we did after watching the video and reading the explanation (me reading and often paraphrasing) depended on the kids interest in the topic. They loved visiting the site and always let me know when I would forget.
-Some days we would watch the video, I would read the content and we would be done. 5 minutes max.
-Often the topic would lead to a journal time. Like after the Sonic Boom wonder, some kids wrote facts they learned and others wrote about what the experience would feel like.
-At least once a week a topic would be a super hit and that would become our research project. Some of those are listed below
The wonder about priceless art that led to us learning about abstract art. (blog post about that journey here). Or the Giraffe wonder that we watched at least 5  times. Then we labeled a giraffe picture (image below) as a group and the kids all wrote about what they had learned. Or the Alamo wonder that meant so much to my little Texans. We talked about heros, freedom and being brave. The books about the Alamo I got from the library were always being read for weeks afterwards. We even sang Happy Birthday (video below) to celebrate Wonderopolis' first birthday.
I could write about so much more but I think you get the point. Another benefit is parents can easily easy access the site at home to continue the learning. I heard back from my parents many times about how their kids made them open the page at home to show what they learned that day and even visited on the weekends so they didn't miss any wonders.
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8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sorry I am having a hard time with my html. My previous post said I love this site but our district does not have access to YouTube. This is supposed to change and I hope that in the next few weeks we will be able to use this in our classrooms. I can think of so many learning opportunities for this site! Great post!

    Jennifer
    TechwithJen

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    1. Hi Jennifer,

      You may want to check out the Wonderopolis for Educators group on Thinkfinity. The W team posts all the links to the videos on Wonderopolis here, so that you can get your tech. department to unblock them for your class. Here is the link to the page: http://thinkfinity.org/docs/DOC-10092

      Best of luck to you!

      Laura

      Delete
    2. Hi Jennifer,

      You may want to check out the Wonderopolis for Educators group on Thinkfinity. The W team posts all the links to the videos on Wonderopolis here, so that you can get your tech. department to unblock them for your class. Here is the link to the page: http://thinkfinity.org/docs/DOC-10092

      Best of luck to you!

      Laura

      Delete
  3. I LOVE Wonderopolis! I even created a fun and FREE trifold activity sheet for students to use with the site!
    Wonderopolis Trifold Activity Sheet

    Upper Grades Are Awesome

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  4. Thank you for sharing this post! The folks at Wonderopolis are still blushing! It's great to hear about all the creative ways you have integrated Wonder in your classroom. Thanks for being such an inspiration! :-)
    -The Wonderopolis Team

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  5. I have been wanting to try out Wonderopolis in my classroom! Thanks for the reminder, Matt!

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

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  6. Innovations in education are necessary to increase the opportunities for students. Students who said Pass bee Media

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