Kindergarten Teacher

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Favorite Website This Year

It was a very hard decision but I chose Wonderopolis as the most important site for my class this year (Symbaloo was a close second). This site is amazing for inspiring wonder, creativity and thinking. The opportunities for learning are endless! Wonderopolis is a site that post a “Wonder of the Day” every day. Some of our favorites included Do Hummingbirds Really Hum, Are Monster Trucks Scary, and Why Do You Sneeze, just to name a few.  I would visit the page with my class most mornings and we would explore the wonder together. I found the site to be a powerful learning tool because I did not teach or plan anything. This made it easier for me to let the kids lead the discussion and learning. I also loved how the topics were outside the typical discussion I would bring up in Kindergarten. What we did after watching the video and reading the explanation (me reading and often paraphrasing) depended on the kids interest in the topic. They loved visiting the site and always let me know when I would forget.

-Some days we would watch the video, I would read the content and we would be done. 5 minutes max.

-Often the topic would lead to a journal time. Like after the Sonic Boom wonder, some kids wrote facts they learned and others wrote about what the experience would feel like.

-At least once a week a topic would be a super hit and that would become our research project. Some of those are listed below

The wonder about priceless art that led to us learning about abstract art. (blog post about that journey here). Or the Giraffe wonder that we watched at least 5  times. Then we labeled a giraffe picture (image below) as a group and the kids all wrote about what they had learned. Or the Alamo wonder that meant so much to my little Texans. We talked about heros, freedom and being brave. The books about the Alamo I got from the library were always being read for weeks afterwards. We even sang Happy Birthday (video below) to celebrate Wonderopolis’ first birthday.

I could write about so much more but I think you get the point. Another benefit is parents can easily easy access the site at home to continue the learning. I heard back from my parents many times about how their kids made them open the page at home to show what they learned that day and even visited on the weekends so they didn’t miss any wonders.

I know next my class will be full of wonder again thanks to this great site! If you need ideas I suggest checking out these folks (especially my good friend Jon)


 

6 Responses to Favorite Website This Year

  1. Gail P says:

    I had massive fails in all tech areas this year. Most of my tools became useless when I couldn’t display them for the class and that includes the online tools like Wonderopolis. Last year I visited it daily so I know how cool the site is.
    Thanks for sharing your thinking.

  2. Martha Lackey says:

    I loved this app as well and was a great app for my bilingual students who need the vocabulary reinforcement in all subjects. I used this app on Fridays in my Daily 5 rotation or sometimes on Mondays to get the week started and they had to find their research on their own which required using whatever device they could use my ipad, itouch, laptop and then they would blog about their research in kidblog. Maybe we could pair up and compare our research in kidblog together next year…just a thought!! Love ur new website. Still working on mine. Hope to be done pretty soon!!

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Great ideas Martha! Would love to chat with you more about connecting our research. Can’t wait to see your site.

  3. Wow, we are over-the-moon with excitement to read your blog post, Matt! Thank you for bringing the Wonder to your students– we couldn’t be happier to be a part of your classroom! Have a terrific Tuesday! :-)

  4. I am loving Wonderopolis for summer school! We are doing that Camp What-a-Wonder. It is great to get kids wondering, discussing, writing, and reading. It also improves their vocabulary! Can’t wait to have Wonder Wednesdays this school year!

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