Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two moments...

There are two moments in my inquiry workshop that take the longest when I use Wonderopolis.  I know they are the most important moments, but in the hustle and bustle of a classroom I have to make sure students know that they are the most important moments too.  They are the moments that I need to make sure I make time for and do not "rush through" or skip.  I came across a quote on the Catching Readers Before They Fall website that reminded me about the importance of these two moments.

“A teacher’s job is always to bridge from the known to the new.  Because there really is no other choice. Kids are who they are.  They know what they know. They bring what they bring. Our job is not to wish that students knew more or knew differently.  Our job is to turn each student’s knowledge, along with the diversity of knowledge we will encounter in a classroom of learners, into a curricular strength rather than an instructional inconvenience.”  -P.  David Pearson, 1997

(I love how the quote says known to new!)

The two moments??? Stimulating background knowledge and sharing knowledge.  The structure of the Wonderopolis website has helped me to appreciate these two moments.  First, stimulating background knowledge.  After displaying the Wonder of the Day, students jot for a few minutes about what they THINK they know, what they KNOW, and what they WONDER about the Wonder of the Day's topic.  Students then share with a partner and share their thinking whole group.  By separating what they THINK they know with what they KNOW, my students have become more open to understanding misconceptions and accepting of new knowledge.  The videos that Wonderopolis supplies, or sometimes I find a video to stimulate because it might dig deeper into intergrating the content areas, gives students a chance to continue to formulate new thinking, confirm thinking, or wonder even more. The second moment... sharing knowledge.  At the end of inquiry workshop, students discuss any new knowledge gained, any connections they bridge to other information, and questions that they need to know now that they have this information.  Lots of conversation, lots of time...but it all appreciates each student's strength!  And I get to practice my OLW...listening! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love this site! I had never heard of it - thanks for sharing. What a great way to stimulate knowledge! I have this bookmarked to use!