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Wonderopolis is a project of the National Center for Families Learning. Each day Wonderopolis shares an intriguing question to encourage asking questions, looking for answers, and thinking about possibilities. This site was created for families but is also a big hit in classrooms of all ages. In 2012, my family was chosen as WonderLead Ambassadors to represent Wonderopolis as well as to promote and support Wonder. 

Wonderopolis does a nice job of providing a little background knowledge to help things make sense while still not fully answering the question …. which still allows thinking and wondering to happen. I think there is enough information provided to make you want to know more … and they provide links and ideas for finding out stuff if you want to know more …. which encourages exploration and discovery based on interest.


For a year, I served as a Wonderopolis Ambassador. Here you can find pieces of that learning journey.

Tuesday
Oct232012

Wondering About Interesting Events in History?

Where has this month gone?

November is just around the corner ….

I wonder what things have happened in history during the month of November … 

EDSITEment from the National Endowment for the Humanities has a calendar just for that!

For each day there are years and events listed, and if you click on that event, you can access related lesson plans, websites, and/or student resources.

You can also use the View by Subject drop down menu to select which subject category will appear on the calendar:

  • Art & Culture
  • Foreign Language
  • History & Social Studies
  • Literature & Language Arts

This could be an idea for research …

An interesting fact for the day ….

A daily challenge to make a connection to something in history …

So many options …

But why wait until next month to look at an EDSITEment calendar?

October has one too!

Did you know that on this day in 1915, 25,000 women marched in New York demanding the right to vote?

Did you know that two days from now in 1881, Pablo Picasso was born?

I wonder what other interesting things you could find looking at these calendars?

What is something in history that happened on your birthday?

EDSITEment is a content partner of Thinkfinity!

Edsitement

 

Wednesday
Oct172012

Do You Know What A Headache Is?

So in the car on the way home today, Miss M grabbed her head, covered her eyes, and said, "my head hurts!"

I think she experienced her first headache ....

I was driving so I tried to ask her a few questions ...

My first question was, "Do you have a headache?"

Madalyn said, "no."

I started wondering if she even knew what a headache was ...

I thought for a moment, and then asked, "Do you know what a headache is?"

Her response: "Since I did not know what it was, I said I did not have one ..."

:)

After laughing a little bit, I started thinking more about headaches and what cause them ...

I probably have more than my fair share!

On Wonderopolis, I found some information:

Another Thinkfinity Content Partnet, Science NetLinks shared articles from KidsHealth.org:

Miss M ate something as soon as we got home and her "hurting head" went away!

 

 

Tuesday
Oct162012

Wonder what causes excitement when reading?

Madalyn is now doing her homework ...

She is reading We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems.

She gets LOUDER or softer when she reads certain words ...

I wondered why she whispered some parts ....

She pointed to the word she whispered and said, "Because it is small and leans to the side."

(The word is in italics.)

I wondered why she shouted some words ...

So she pointed to another word and told me that since it was LARGE, she needed to use a LARGE voice to read it!

Madalyn told me she knew which character was saying words based on the word bubbles ....

She added that the exclamation points helped her know when to show emotions ....

I wonder how she knows all that ...

Homework tonight was a joy!

I tend to get quite animated when I read aloud and it looks like someone shares that same quality!

 

The book she read tonight was one of Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie Books. Those books along Interrupting Chicken and Silly Street are mentioned in one of the the Thinkfinity Community Forum on Humor and Giggles in the Classroom

She was more engaged in her reading homework tonight since she was excited about the book!

*******************************************************************************

Related Resources:

Wonder #181: Who invented the knock-knock joke?

Wonder #577: Are you a bookworm?

See the webpage and blog of Mo Willems to learn more about him, his books, and some activities.

If you're a fan of the Elephant and Piggie books, you'll love this packet that supports the Common Core standards:  http://pinterest.com/happyteacher/mo-willems/

Listen to Mo Willems talk about some of his characters:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyUfnccxdnY?rel=0]

Tuesday
Oct092012

Do You Wonder About Elections?

I wonder if you know how many days it is from today until the Presidential Election?

Do our children wonder about the signs, commercials and debates they are seeing and hearing?

I found something on the Library of Congress site that could possibly help:

This image is not interactive but if you click on it, you will be taken to the interactive site where it is from!

At the site, when you hover on the words at the side, blue questions appear above the voting box (which is animated). Those can be guiding questions for the text you will access when you click on the categories.

I think a KWL or KWLH chart might work well ….

According to ReadingQuest Strategies:

What Is K-W-L?.
K-W-L is the creation of Donna Ogle and is a 3-column chart that helps capture the Before, During, and After components of reading a text selection.

  • K stands for Know
    This is the prior knowledge activation question. 
  • W stands for Will or Want
    What do I think I will learn about this topic?
    What do I want to know about this topic?
  • L stands for Learned
    What have I learned about this topic?
  •  

    Asking questions can engage and inspire learning! It also provides direction for what you want children to learn from a resource. That goes along with Wonderopolis too!

    Wonderopolis is also a good place to find engaging non-fiction. Wonder #30 asked: Where do Political Symbols come from?

    Here is a post on KWL charts and also one on FQR charts which may work even better for nonfiction … Facts, Questions, and Responses.

    These nonfiction information articles from the Library of Congress provide a place for guided practice on this type of text as well as what to do when you encounter words that you do not know when you read.

    Another idea is for children to create posters/signs/lists online or offline of the interesting information the discover. You could even jigsaw this site by having different groups read each section and then report back to the other about what they learned. This could be a time for students to choose how to represent the information to share it!  I wonder what they would create!

    Here are places you can find nonfiction reading strategies and lessons that could be used with the material you find on the Library of Congress site:

    You never know what you might learn from reading nonfiction!

    Did you know that George Washington was reluctant to become our first president?

     

     

    Monday
    Oct082012

    A Pink Pajama Party for Support!

     

    Neil attended the NC State football game  this weekend where the players wore all red uniforms and pink socks. My daughter and I watched the game on TV, and she started wondering about the pink socks as well as the pink hat the coach was wearing.  
    As I tried to explain, I connected it with the Sleep Pink party we were having the next day. I also shared a past Wonder of the Day from Wonderopolis.org:  What is Cancer?


    I know from past experience how much families and friends need support in times of illness and need, especially ones related to any form of cancer. So even though Breast Cancer may not have directly impacted my life and my family, I feel it is important to do all I can to help and support others.

    Supporting each other was the theme of the Sleep Pink Pajama Party that Madalyn and I hosted this afternoon! It was a time for girls of all ages to just get together and enjoy time together! 

    I wasn’t sure who all would show up for the pajama party today, but I knew at least three people would be there representing three different generations … me, my mom, and my daughter!

    A fourth generation, my grandmother, always came to support anything I did but we lost her a little over a year ago. My daughter is six, which may be considered young to start learning about various forms of cancer, but I think that awareness is key. It is never too early to care about and support others!

    Since we had on pink pajamas, complete with new pink house shoes for each of us, as well as a pink tablecloth, plates, napkins, juice, and cake, we were ready to celebrate … even if it was just the three of us!
     
    My neighbor showed up in her pajamas with a bag full of pink goodies … crowns, glow sticks, glasses, magic wand, and even a pink boa! She was ready for us all to show support and even play dress-up!

    Another friend and her daughter showed up … wearing pink! Our daughters both had on the same pink house shoes! After grabbing a few treats, the girls rushed upstairs to play!

    Part of showing support involves just doing the things that come naturally!

    While the girls were upstairs, we had a great time just sitting around the snack table talking, laughing, and telling stories! My mom and I both knew the other two ladies, but they did not meet until today … although after a few minutes, it was like we all had known each other forever!

    After the girls came back down and enjoyed some pink and purple cake, then we all played dress-up and took lots of pictures! It was a time to celebrate just being us and supporting each other!

    The fact that we all had on pink and pajamas made it even better!
    .