A Place for Wonder

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Today is Wednesday which means it’s Wonder Wednesday in our classroom.  It’s sort of a catchy phrase stemming from our obsession with Wonderopolis and the fact that I wanted to make some space for open inquiry in my classroom.  I hope to model and guide students to wonder everyday of the week, not just on Wednesdays!  But sometimes we have to set aside some dedicated time to reflect on wonder journals, examine the class board of open wonders, read about new topics to wonder about, and ultimately seek some answers to those wonders.

Kids want to know, they are curious, it’s just a part of their very fabric.  I see the early shades of this in my almost two-year old.  How does this work?  How many times can I slap mom in the face before she gets mad?  If I mash my hand in this hummus repeatedly what will happen? You get the idea.  But making space for wonder is more than just hippie dippie stuff.  It’s straight up logic.  Kids who are curious and want to learn do better at learning.

So Wonder Wednesday is really about reminding our students and ourselves to stop and wonder.  In a busy weekly schedule where it often seems like we run from one subject to the next we have to take careful and measured steps towards weaving curiosity and passion into classrooms in a way that excites and honors kids.

Wondering can happen in so many ways.  Why not try one of these ideas to make a space for wonder in your classroom?

Creating a Space 

  • Have a stale bulletin board or wall space?  revamp it into your wonder wall.  Let kids fill it with questions that you can revisit when you have a few spare moments and practice your research skills.
  • No space?  Create a digital wall using Padlet like this one.

Inspiring Wonder

  • Check out Wonderopolis for articles paired with videos on a variety of neat topics.
  • View a wonder worthy video like this one at The Kid Should See This.  Just don’t blame us when on of your students “wonders” what would happen if they did this on the East stairwell at school, ok?

  • Take some time to wonder about something you are already doing in class.  Stop and reflect on a class read aloud, infuse student questions in Science and Social Studies and use them to guide what students learn for the rest of the week, revisit a previous text you read together to go back and wonder and then research.

Connect

  • Use your class Twitter account to tweet out wonders to the world and respond to wonders shared on #wonderchat or #wonderwednesday
  • Wonder with another classroom either in your school or not!  You can join our wondering here.

Wonder is a natural state of wanting to know.  We have the desire to learn something and then we go out and do it.  Any way in which you can model that process for students and make space for it in your day is a step in the right direction!  Wonder on Wednesday, wonder on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Cookieday too.  Start here, start now.

For more information check out the storify or resource archive from last week’s #wonderchat that lists both professional books to learn more about inquiry and wonder and childrens’ books to inspire wonder. Thanks @JoEllenMcCarthy for hosting that chat!

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