Thanks to my ever flowing fountain of knowledge and resources that is Twitter, I happened upon this site when I began following Barbara Phillips (@wonderphillips). The site is Wonderopolis, a project developed by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) to encourage families to embark on reading and learning adventures together. Barbara is a Lead Ambassador for Wonderyear 2012.
My brain immediately began cranking out ways to incorporate this new (and FREE) resource into my teaching. I wanted to spend some time with my students working on the skill of determining importance, as this is often difficult and many of them struggle to sort important facts from interesting ones. Of course this is not easy, as sometimes they are both one and the same! A light bulb went off and I knew that Wonderopolis would help.
I taught my students how to use a Fact, Question, Response (FQR) organizer to track their learning (find one here from BetterLesson.com). This is a great tool because it helps them sort their connections, thoughts, "wow" moments, and questions from the actual facts that they need to take away from the text. It also helps them to see how much thinking goes on as they are learning from a text.
|Searching for "wonders" of their own|
After finding a "wonder" to learn about, I began hearing some chatter. Normally I would hush them back down to help them focus, but when I heard the content of the chatter, I stepped back and let them run with it. I heard a lot of "Hey! Did you know..." and "Wow! Look at this!" followed by "That is so cool, I am going to read that one next!" No, your eyes are not deceiving you, they wanted to read more and were very disappointed when our time was up. I promised to email a link home and encouraged them to share their learning with their families.
|Adding information to FQR charts|