We took off running on the first day of school and here we are - nearly six weeks in. I have another amazing group of learners and wonderers. Not to worry - we've been wondering away and I'm excited to finally begin sharing the adventures of my newest group of Wonder-Kids.
On the first day of school I left a pink flamingo beanie-baby on my polar bear chair (a comfy ottoman with a mini polar bear carpet draped over the top). Over the years it has taken the place of my "teacher chair". It didn't take long before the kids noticed it the flamingo sitting there. They kept asking about it. I have several stuffed animals around the room - but it was the flamingo they noticed. I held them at bay...wondering. And there you have it - the hook.
Once I had gathered them on the carpet I held up the flamingo and said "I wonder what this is?". Hands shot up in excitement. Several of them knew right-off-the-bat. A handful had even seen one in real life. The majority knew about flamingos, but only from pictures in books or on television. There were even a few who had never seen or heard of a flamingo at all.
I told my kindergarteners that there is a place - one of my most favorite places - that we could visit to find out a little more about the flamingo. I used my interactive whiteboard to show them Wonderopolis. I summarized the information in my own words and shared the video. And that was all. In under five minutes I lead them through our first Wonder of the Day® as a class. We activated our schema. We built some background. We shared our knowledge and supported each other as learners. We wondered...together. And now they know why flamingos are pink!
And little do they know that this is only the beginning.