Day 3 (of 185) Why Wonder? specifically why @wonderopolis for intermediates via @Mr_Lister

Day 3 (of 185) Why Wonder? specifically why @wonderopolis for intermediates via @Mr_Lister



Today I started to introduce elements of #geniushour to the Grade 5/6 in my school. As principal-librarian, I want to maximize my time with students to explore elements of project (personal) based learnings. From previous experience, I know that this can be very stressful for students….making a personal choice on what to do.



My usual intro comes via @calvinandhobbes

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….so often there is so much that is wanted to learn…and a lot that (the government says) we have to learn….



But “ownership of learning” is so important when creating opportunities to make learning  relevant and meaningful…and too often “student choice” is limited by This OR That….the perception of choice, but very narrow paradigm. So, I’ve been trying more and more to provide some scaffolding to support all learners.



That’s where @wonderopolis comes in. For example, today we clicked on the website to explore the shared wonder about “can skin change colour”?


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This showed how one persons question can lead to a variety of questions. We did a quick poll about what first thoughts on the question were. We then analyzed what “change colors” might mean (suntan vs allergy vs illness) and where these questions may further lead us…..and to then explore some of their videos and writing (that can be read to us if reading is a challenge) to explore the 1 739th wonder so far.



It opens up conversations. It assures them that no wonder is too small (I do warn them that some wonders may be too big….but even they may be worth the exploration!) It helps give the 5/6s the framework (and a reference!)  that they can use as they begin their own self-directed explorations.


From here it leads to the bigger challenge: If I, as principal, give an hour of instructional time for students to learn about anything they want…..but something that they are passionate about (such as knowing someone with vitiligo – the diagnosis for someone whose skin changes colour….)…..what would they choose to learn about/to do?


and yes, I did have boy a couple of years ago spend a lot of time studying….dinosaurs.



And the 10,670 “wonders” so far help reinforce the ideology nicely worded by @gcouros that I hope to continue:


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About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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One Response to Day 3 (of 185) Why Wonder? specifically why @wonderopolis for intermediates via @Mr_Lister

  1. mrhgaddis says:

    I appreciate you saying that kids can be uncomfortable with choice. We as educators have to build structures and routines in our classrooms that make it safe for them to do so. Our district has a research model that begins with WONDER as the entry point. We recently worked with principals on this model and they are no different nor less comfortable! Thanks for reminding me about Wonderopolis – we need to share that more as an example.

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