Monday, March 19, 2012

A Big Day for Big Learning! Active Agents in a Digital World

What a great day in first grade! We had a big day of learning and saw exactly how our thinking matters in the larger community. Way to live a curious life first graders!

Each Wednesday we follow and engage in our "Wonder Wednesday" challenge. We view recent wonders posted to the website and then create our own blog posts, either responding to Wonderopolis or sharing our own wonderings.

This site has become a classroom favorite and kids now visit it throughout the week. On Friday, one student was thinking ahead to St. Patrick's Day and asked, "Are leprechauns real?"

As we pondered the question, someone said, "Hey! I know! Let's send the question to Wonderopolis." So we did. I modeled how to submit a question on my iPad and projected it for the class to see. We submitted our question and then several students submitted additional wonders to the Wonderopolis website.

Well on Saturday morning, you can imagine how THRILLED I was when I checked my Twitter feed and saw the Wonder of the Day.

I could hardly wait for my students to enter the building! As soon as they came in, I had them get their iPads and go straight to the website. When my class saw Wonder #531 the room erupted in squeals! Such joy! Total amazement! What a feeling of empowerment!

I have been teaching my kids all year that they need to live a curious life. Ask questions. Seek answers. Look for deeper meaning. Have a set of resources that can help you find the answers to your questions. Access experts in your every day life.

Today Wonderopolis gave them a foundational experience for what it feels like to be a digital citizen and member of the global learning community. My kids have now experienced curiosity and the "search curriculum." They are inspired to ask again and are moved to let the world know their thinking matters! Today they truly believe that others are interested in their ideas and the thoughts and questions they have to share.

After celebrating this milestone, my students got right to working letting people know that their wonder had been answered. Nearly every child posted a new blog announcing the "big news." Six students created iMovies with student interviews and screen shots from Wonderopolis. Four children created instructional eBooks on how to use Wonderopolis and another is currently working on a Keynote to share with the kindergarten class.

THIS is the type of thinking and learning that matters.

My students know how to ask, use and share information. They can name and employ tools to document their thinking and take it public to teach others. They are active agents in their own curriculum development and they confidently promote learning.

What more could a teacher ask for?

THANK YOU Wonderopolis for making this monumental day of learning possible!
I know that this experience has changed my students as digital citizens and will serve as a catalyst for future learning. Three cheers for Wonderopolis and the curious kids in Room 106!


  1. This is awesome! Thanks for posting. I am currently in the process of researching and writing a grant in hopes of getting 1:1 Ipads for my first graders. This post is a perfect example of how I hope to use them. First graders are always so curious- we are constantly going to our computers to find answers to their questions- this is just SO much better. Thanks for inspiring other teachers!
    Jill Gilgus

  2. Wow, how great is this?? I'm totally inspired. I have a class set of ipads in my 6th grade math classroom. We have only had them up and running for about 1 month but we are making progress. Your blog has given me some great ideas about ways to make my teaching more inquiry based.

    Would you be interested in a Skype chat or face time chat with my class? Perhaps your class could tell what their favorite apps are or something like that?

    Thanks again!
    Alison Nixon

    1. Hi Alison!

      We would love to do a Skype chat--this year or next fall is fine. Thanks!