Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tech Tip Thursday: Wonderopolis- Have you ever wondered?


I'm so excited to share today's tech tip with you! It's a website called Wonderopolis! It's a wonderful website that answers all of your wondering questions {PERFECT for our curious students}! Like....Why do you get goosebumps? or Why do skunks stink? A new wondering is presented every day and it has already answered hundreds more that are archived on their site. There are so many ways to use this site! The question of the day is posted on front page of the site, however there is a search button, as well as a categorized list of questions that are already answered {bottom right hand side of the page}!

I love the way the site guides children to find the answer to the stated question. It doesn't come right out and give them the answer {so important!!!} There is a video that introduces the topic to get the students thinking about the question & topic. Then there are a few short paragraphs that give the students background information and facts. Students must draw their own conclusions based on the information provided {Love it!} Wait..... it gets better! The site then provides activities that the students can try that are related to the question. These activities range from a small experiment to taking a virtual field trip. It also provides vocabulary that the students should be familiar with in regards to the topic. Finally, it gives the students an option to extend and explore with their "Still Wondering" section. As a teacher, I couldn't ask for a better set up for my students to explore!! Hands down one of the best exploration resources available - and it's FREE!!! It's not surprising that it's such a great resource considering who is behind it! Wonderopolis is created by National Center for Family Literacy, as well as Verizon Thinkfinity.  Along with their website, wonderopolis also has an app for both Apple & Android.

I found this site last year at a conference. I knew I had to do something with it besides just letting my students get on it every so often. It finally came to me the other day! I have been wanting to have an Einstein's club or Mastery club of some sort - but I didn't want my students just looking up basic facts, I wanted it to be meaningful to them {insert Wonderopolis}. I think activities like this are not only good for students who finish early, but it promotes autonomous learning and gives the students the power to be in charge of their learning through choices. I wanted to jazz my version up so I came up with the W.I.S.E. crew. Wondering, Investigating, Seeking, & Exploring  {perfect words to describe Wonderopolis!} I have it set up very similar to other mastery clubs. It's broken down by subjects {Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, & Misc.} with 15 questions in each section. I plan to have different levels of mastery based on the number of questions they complete. Each level will earn the students a different recognition {Hall of Fame}. They will also be listed on our class website. I'm not going to *require* the students to complete the tasks, but I'm going to encourage and recognize those who do. I will have it set up where students can complete these tasks at home and when they have finished all other work. I am beyond excited about this program! I've done all the had work for you - you can grab my program here!


4 comments:

  1. Love the way you talk about being able to use Wonderopolis as well as the ideas for the WISE crew! I am sure the people at Wonderopolis will love it too!

    (I am a 2012 Wonder Lead for Wonderopolis)

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  2. Thanks for the tip about the website. It's nice when you can find something good at a conference. www.thecolorofsound.edublogs.org

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  3. Thanks for sharing this website!

    Megan
    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
    Stop by to check out my 150 follower giveaway!

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  4. I have never heard of this but my kids would go crazy! This is such a great real world tool to help those random crazy questions. Now I can really squeeze in Science/S.S.! :) Thanks

    Always A Lesson

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