Wonderopolis is a wonderful site for nonfiction reading. Last year I used the site once a week with my students. I picked out the “Wonder,” and created a Wonder worksheet for the week that included other language activities. While this method worked well for me as a teacher, it wasn’t so great for my students. They enjoyed the site, but they hated the other activities. And why not, they were teacher-created. They became a burden to them rather than a learning tool.
This summer I was thinking about how to change this plan and still take advantage of the Wonderopolis site. I read this post by Tara Smith. She talked about choice. She gave her students a form to fill in with a Wonder of their own choice. What a great idea!
Last week I started classes with my gifted students. I introduced the idea of Wonder Wednesday and choosing their own Wonders. For my birthday (on Tuesday), Lani had given me a small rubik’s cube. One of my boys, Tobie, couldn’t stop playing with it. He decided his Wonder would be about how to do a rubik’s cube. He found the question on Wonderopolis! Then he watched a video. He got other students excited about learning. (I could say he distracted others with his enthusiasm.)
After watching the excitement spread, I decided to give my students the option to present their Wonder learning using technology. I will present different tools in the coming weeks: Piktochart, Canva, Emaze, Powtoon, Animoto. One presentation each nine weeks will be required.
Teaching a variety of grade levels has its challenges. Wonderopolis has given me a way to differentiate nonfiction reading, empower students through presentation, and generate enthusiasm for learning. Here is a link to my student form.
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