Sunday, July 13, 2014

Getting to the questions...

These are my two oldest children:

Rylee is a perfectionist...

And Aaden can be a bit of a "know-it-all"

Now don't get me wrong, I love them dearly, but between one who always responds with "I already knew that" and one who hesitates to even try if she isn't going to get the answer right, getting my kids to ask question and admit they don't know is a TOUGH job! Some people want their kids to stop asking so many questions - I want mine to ask more!

Almost a year ago I came across a website called Wonderopolis on Matt Gomez's blog. Last week, at #ipadu in Cedar Rapids, Matt mentioned this resource again, and I couldn't wait to come home and try it out with my kids.

Since I got home Friday night we have been watching Wonder videos like crazy! Rylee and I watched them together Friday night and Saturday night, and I practiced modeling making educated guesses - I wanted to show her that nobody (not even mom, which is hard to believe, I know) has ALL the answers!  We took turns making guesses and then she wrote about what we learned. Tonight I did one with Aaden, and it was even more difficult to get him to ask questions. However, I am all about helping my kids practice this skill, and it is a resource I will be sharing with all my districts!

The basic set-up is that there is a kid-friendly/inspired question or "wonder" each day, with photos and a video, and then the essential questions of the "wonder" - "What is in a hot dog?" or "How are mountains made?" Along with those there is a short article with lots of interactive vocabulary words, and finally a quiz, if you'd like. Rylee and I did a couple of the quizzes, but we were more interested in the questions.

Getting students to think, wonder, and sometimes just guess is one of the hardest parts of education these days. The desire to get the "right" answer is so deeply engrained in their brains that being wrong or not know an answer is scary to them. I love this resource as a method of learning and questioning! Good work, Wonderopolis!

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