My class loves our Wonderopolis-time. Now that we've logged several visits to Wonderopolis since the beginning of the school year, the kids have a little bit of background knowledge (or an archived memory) of some of the wonders we've learned about. My kids are constantly making connections to learning with past wonders. Every now and then they'll say "Lets see if Wonderopolis knows".
Several weeks ago I made Wonderopolis the homepage on our five computers in the classroom. I taught them that the homepage is the page that we see first when we open the browser. I showed them how I could change it too. They were pretty excited to find out I could make Wonderopolis the homepage. I also showed them how I could bookmark favorite sites on the bookmark toolbar so we can get to them easily. This is helpful in kindergarten. And since the bookmarks are visual, they have no problem navigating to their favorite sites.
During our computer time in the afternoon I have one student who I can count on to ask, "Can I visit Wonderopolis?", as if permission was necessary. In under a minute he's opened up the browser and found his way to the wonderopolis archive. Although he can't read most of the text on Wonderopolis, browsing the video images is enough to keep him busy. There are over 800 as of today, and he's visited a few more than once.
He is quiet. He is engaged. He turns to catch my attention and points at the screen. He wants me to see what he's watching. I scoot closer to ask him some questions.Tell me about what you're watching? Have you ever seen that before? What do you know about it? Do you think you could write about that? The response is the part that I love. I see him (all of them, actually) using their schema, formulating thoughts, and searching for and using their words. Sometimes their words flow on to paper and becomes a sentence, and other times a book. Other times we just talk about it - and that's okay too.
Anything and everything throughout the day is game for prompting learning like that, and I'm glad that Wonderopolis is one of those things!
Here he is learning about why penguins can't fly.