Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What makes you sneeze?

In an earlier post, I talked about one of my new favorite reads:  A Place for Wonder.  If you haven't checked it out, Georgia Heard talks about the importance of questioning in the classroom.  It is geared for "primary" grades, but much of it can be applied to the upper elementary grades as well.  Here are a few things I've been trying:

The Wonder Square:  At the beginning of the year, when we were first starting our science notebooks, I had each child cut out a paper square.  Like this: 

Each child took their sqaure outside and placed it on the ground.  Their job, was to make observations and describe everything they saw in the box.  Most started by describing the grass, or the flowers.. but then they started noticing a small ant crawl across the frame, or a tiny spiderweb.  After they recorded their observations, they traded notebooks with a peer, and got to draw what was inside their partners square, based on their partners descriptions.  This led to a great conversation about our descriptions as scientists, and what kind of descriptions benefit others. 

Wonder of the Week:  Through the world of teaching blogs, I have stumbled upon an awesome website: Wonderopolis.  Seriously, go check it out.  It asks some of the worlds biggest wonders.  Like,
"Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?" "What makes invisible ink invisible?" and my favorite, "How did dinosaurs get their names?"  Then the website answers them in a kid-friendly way, using technology and videos when possible.  It's awesome.  Anyways, using some of these wonders, we created our own "Wonder of the Week" board.  Anytime throughout the week, students can put their predictions to the question up, then on Friday we check Wonderopolis to find out what the answer is.  Last week, we took a look at the question, "Why do people sneeze?"  I'm sure you can predict their predictions.  :)

Now off to bed, exhausted after a long great weekend! 

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