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.