Monday, April 15, 2013

Talk Topic 5: Observing, Listening, Wondering...

Share with us two ideas that stood out for you after reading any of the following sections:

6. The Observation Window

7. One Small Square

8. A Listening Walk

9. The Wonder Club

Books for Creating a Wonder World

We'd love for you to cite specific page numbers and quotes!


  1. This question will form the basis of our next book study. As well, our book study will include an awesome podcast with Georgia Heard and Franki Sibberson. She will discuss her views about the importance of a sense of wonder and "pondering time" in classrooms. As well, a full transcript of the podcast will be available as a handout for book study members to add to their file of handouts. Additionally, book study members will some templates (blackline masters) that can be used in their classrooms for students to record their findings, discoveries, and wonderings from a Discovery Table or Observation Window or One Small Square activity. Finally, members will receive a book list that will be useful in their efforts to inspire and support wonder in their classrooms. Marguerite and Joanne

  2. I am new to all this blogging-how do I become part of this book study and is it in fact still going on? I would love a copy of the black line masters to use in my classroom.


    1. Michele,
      Yes, it's ongoing (check the dates beside each comment - it's only been going for a few weeks now so you're in good time). And good news, you're already a part if you've got the book and are posting here.
      I can't tell you anything about the black line masters (just a member like you) but welcome aboard!

  3. Can't wait to hear the podcast from the authors.

    I am so intrigued by the concept of bringing "wonder" into my classroom.

    I have a handful of students who are always looking for nature everywhere and love asking wonder questions. I can't wait for the other kiddos to follow the lead.

    In this day in age where kids have tv shows that create the imagination for them, they have games that create the scenarios for them to experience - how do we as educators get them into the world of wonderment?

    I have Lego, K'Nex, and other building objects in the classroom. I had assumed that these would be open ended manipulatives for construction, however I am consistently amazed how the students only want to recreate battling vehicles, swords, guns, etc that they have seen on tv shows.

    I have 3 boys of my own, grown into teenagers now, however when reflecting back to their childhood they were always using their own imaginations to create buildings, cities, places for their cars to drive - not consistently playing smash up games, fighting games.

    All in all to say, I am excited to try some of these new ideas to get my kiddos involved in nature and to expand on their own imaginations.


  4. After retreading this section in the book - I feel that the part that stood out the most for me is our specific need to teach students how to use all there senses when observing. We know that all students will eventually conduct experiments in science, but it is here in the Kinder World that we can guide their observations to include all the senses. We are their world where what really interests them is what counts. Why not encourage writing through observation of things they truly enjoy; such as shells, rocks, sticks, bird nests, etc. How many times have I asked students to write in a journal and they say "I don't know what to write about". Of course we can always lead them to write about their family or something they did; however writing lists and labelling are an important part of the writing process and easier for the beginning writer. As they move through the stages of writing we can introduce them non-fiction writing.

    Another point that I will take from this section of the book, is the need to have good read alouds to encourage a sense of wonderment. There are many good examples at the end of the chapter, and if I could go back four years and reorder my bookshelves would now be filled with all of these non-fiction and Wonder books.


  5. I continue to feel such a connection when reading this book. Sometimes when I read articles and books about Reggio Emilia classrooms, I am simultaneously inspired and frustrated: inspired by a vision of schools where my aesthetic and world view are mirrored, but frustrated by my lack of resources, time (half-day program), expertise, money (thank heavens for Value Village glassware and wood sections!) in order to fully embrace it here.

    Then I pick up "A Place for Wonder" and feel instant validation. Here it is, being done in my context. Indeed, here are things I do, just done better (always room to grow!). Every spring, I look forward to listening walks along the river (both my old school and new have a lovely creek-side tree-lined path), noticing changes in the world around, looking at life very closely (when exploring insects, seeds, buds). I have a wonderful book called "A Closer Look" by Mary McCarthy. To quote: "Open your eyes. Open your mind. Open your imagination. Look! What do you see?" and so on. It zooms away from a bug's eye view, bit by bit to reveal the bigger pictures.
    Magnificent provocation.
    I plan to find all the titles I can get my hands on at the library, armed with the list of titles at the end of the chapter. The listening walk sounds like a perfect addition to my collection, especially as my students are becoming avid birdwatchers and happily tell me: "I heard a cheery-up cherree" (robin) or: "That's the blackbird! It says 'Er-kwee'"!
    A book I highly recommend is Barbara Reid's: "Picture a Tree". Talk about wonder! Read a few times and left out for students to explore, that book could inspire many different inquiries about many diverse topics: sky, trees, leaves, animals that live around us, weather, seasons, birds, and more.

  6. I've just read that book to my class for the second time and it has definitely sparked many wonder questions.

    Great book!