A Place for Wonder Book Study (Heard & McDonough, 2009)
I have a science counter that contains a wide variety of items that appeal to the different senses. There are a variety of items that are found in nature or were purchased to demonstrate something in particular - i.e. light tubes that show electical circuits, windmills to use to show wind movement, binoculars, 3D glasses and books. To name a few. I have provided research resources related to many of the items to enable students to investigate these ideas in greater depth. MG
Our current inquiry combines literacy, math, and critical thinking. Students are creating collections daily, we meet to decide how we should organize them, and students write about 3 of the objects in our journals. From these discussions we create and blog ABC riddles. The daily writing will be compiled at the end to make our own "I Spy" ABC books. Each student will have their own book version representing 3 items per letter that were meaningful or interesting to them. For example, today was "F" day and one student wrote about a flag, a frog and a Flames jersey.If you are interested in learning more here are some links: "Bb" day post (http://bit.ly/ZmTHK3) and "Riddle Me, ABC" post (http://bit.ly/16VYAY5)@HeatherMMcKay
I adore your alphabet "I spy" project! I bet your students will remember it well into their school years. Such an authentic sharing of ideas with the class and family - I'm truly inspired.
I have ordered my copy of the book and look forward to joining the discussion soon :) I work in an IB school so we have an inquiry-based program. However, the program is relatively rigid about how "inquiry" is planned for and carried out. I am always playing with the requirements to try and make it more appropriate for my students.
I have several areas within my classroom where students can go and wonder, investigate, and express themselves creatively.At this particular time we have just finished a dinosaur inquiry, where the kiddos had the opportunity to delve into what they thought the paper mâché "Dino eggs" had inside them.We also have another on-going inquiry into plants and growth. We have planted (shhhh..) basil seeds and several kiddos are visiting this centre daily to see what is coming up. They are drawing pictures and writing lists and their thinking in our inquiry book.Next week we will be planting flowers for the kiddos to give to their mommas on Mother's Day. Moreover, there will be an additional surprise for them. We are going to be creating a box garden for the classroom where they will be in charge of deciding what to plant and how to take care of it. I can't wait for them to see this! It will be located in our Kinder - Garden.Since beginning to read this book, I have implemented a "Wonder chart" for students to write down their wonderments. Just today we took one of the questions to look at in more depth as a whole group. Our research today lead us into the Ocean World. Our question was "I wonder if starfish have eyes?" It was such a fun question for me to begin to research especially as I didn't know the answer yet myself. I know that several of my kiddos were really engaged in this topic and had their eyes glued to the Smartboard. My question is: how do we get those students who aren't engaged in any wonderments to begin looking at the world around them with questioning eyes? Or is it just a language barrier or their developmental stage that is keeping me from finding their true wonderment?Great book so far with lots to think about and try to implement.Kim
We have also set up a "discovery table" where the kiddos are finding little treasures from outside and bringing them in for others to observe.So far we have a snail shell, several "sticks" (many from lily plants), a couple of small branches from a cedar tree, and a few "special rocks".Kim
I outlined our version of sharing noticings, wonderings, and aha's (our sharing space) in the last chapter/post, but there are several places of wonder in our class right now aside from the sharing space.We have been delving into several new areas since our big marble maze project began to wind down. One topic came up when the provocation was hand-delivered to me as I was out at play with my PM class: the cancer society fundraiser daffodils arrived. Students crowded around and wondered: are those onions? Beans? Celery? I could see how this was a great addition to the "wonder table" where I have my favourite project zero critical thinking prompts posted to help me further the conversations with students: What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? along with hand magnifiers. Over the course of two days there were so many predictions, noticings, diagrams (I'd put out clipboards and paper, coloured pencils) and good talk. Another large project has come out of our noticing the birds returning from warmer climes. We have a bird-watching window, complete with binoculars, bird field guides, a poster of common backyard birds, and clipboards for recording. I also have set out at the wonder table several nests I've found over the years, some feathers, and a treasured starling skull found a few weeks ago during a run. We have been talking about taking a nice long walk again some day soon, as my AM class loved our river walk to see the ducks. I love hearing about all the birds seen on the walk to school each day.