Ms Eppele's Blog

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The Wonder Idea!

on January 20, 2011

Okay, I finished my baseline portfolio and then I had a learning team the very next day! Wow, I think I am starting to see my next field study! Reading over my portfolio I have discovered I am interested in seeing how technology affects the students learning.  I want to see I how integrate technology into each lesson to enhance my teaching in some core areas.  At the same time I want to provide the students with skills to use and understand the new technology I introduce.

I have already ordered the book! I can’t wait to see what else we can do!

 Our learning team is based on non-fiction reading comprehension. I was shown a book that got my wheels a turning. It is called “A Place to Wonder; Reading and Writing nonfiction in the Primary Grades,” written by Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough.  I was given a chance to flip through it and I was hooked. It is all about how can we get students more engaged in their learning…to wonder about the world around them. However, to get the kids to wonder they need to be pulled away from the “technology” that surrounds them! I see what they mean, but how can we combine them?

So this morning I created a Wonder Wall! I introduced the idea of questioning and wondering to the students. I asked them to think of a place in the class where they find themselves wondering more than other places. They went on a wonder hunt and what they come back with was truly amazing and inspiring! Not one wondered about the technology in the room! Here are a few examples; the classroom library with all the books, the writing centre (what sentence will I create today), the science centre (shells and scales), the plants and flowers growing in the room, they wondered about outside and looking out the window, the teacher’s bookshelf! They pretty much said everything in the book I was looking at with zero prompts! Afterwards I read a few questions from the book “Why?” it has a million questions about everything.

I read one question, how does cold water and hot water come out of the same faucet? I had the students ponder it (we have thinking poses already established in Sept.) next they turned to someone and shared what they thought. Most times when I do a discussion activity like this we share with the class, but I didn’t want to this time they were so engaged and having deep discussions! Afterwards I shared the answer and we discussed if it was important to be right if it was an idea or theory why.  * We do a lot of collaboration in the class, the students have been doing a wonderful job at creating a safe learning environment for each other.

We did a few more questions, and then I brought out the sticky notes! We only had ten minutes left until recess, but the students were so engaged! I asked them to think of a wonder they have and put it on the sticky note to put on our wonder wall! Well ,about five minutes later we all sat back and looked at that big wall, covered in yellow sticky notes, the kids counted, 56! We were all amazed at all our wonderings, the kids asked if they could add more during the day and of course I agreed and told them that during Explorations (our centre time) they could explore and add to the wall.

Afterwards, I thought about all this and wondered how I could add some technology to the lesson. I decided to try a blog of wonderings. With another student today, we created our very first classroom blog. We told the other students and they are all excited for it! And they are all wondering what a blog is! Days like this I know whyI love my job!

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