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Wednesday
Apr162014

When you add wonder, you never know what might happen ...

Yesterday I led a session called “Navigating the Changes with the 4C’s” at a mini-conference for gifted educators. After we explored the 4C’s and some activities, we looked at some websites and Wonderopolis was one of them!

The teachers LOVED it! 
 
We talked about ways the ideas there and inspired by the stuff there can be used in all the 4C areas (communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication).
 
Then the teacher part kicked in, and they really liked the vocabulary as well as the test your knowledge. The read aloud option also got some fans!  We also talked about ways students could create their own wonders after units of study as a way to express knowledge and/or as an assessment of learning. Being able to search for past wonders and categories was also a popular feature!
 
One of the things that we especially like, especially in terms of the gifted learner, is that there is not really a definite answer for the wonder questions …. you have to think and support your answer.
 
In my experience, most gifted students are used to always getting the right answer without even trying very hard, so when they have questions that don’t really have an answer to struggle with, that is where the growth and learning occurs.
 
Today I was asked to meet with third grade teachers at a local elementary school to explore some technology options they could use. And again, Wonderopolis was one I showed!
They are getting ready to talk more about the skeletal system, so we searched for that. The wonder questions that turned up were not one they would have thought of at first, but did provide some interesting angles for them to use to approach the unit of study.
 
Later this afternoon, I held the second session of my Rising STEAM workshops and we were actually in the STEAM Lab at a school today. On the symbaloos created for each unit, there are several Wonderopolis questions for students to click on so they can go watch the video and read/listen to the info.
 
One of the stations is even called a WONDER station. A group of participants in the workshop are from the same school (varying grades and the tech person). They are in the process of making plans for a STEAM lab at their school next year and they have a Wonder station in their plans.
 
There was even talk of creating a Wonder question to lead each activity! 
 
These sessions ended up being more like conversations that turned out even better than planned! 

 

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