Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wonder Journals

Each morning as my students come into the classroom, the Wonder of the Day is projected up on the white board in my room.  Students write predictions, what they think, what they know and wonderings they may have about the Wonder.  Later after attendance and lunch count are taken and everyone has had time to think about the Wonder, we start our day discussing and reading together.  Before reading over the Wonder together students have time to share their thinking and predictions with a neighbor and then a few share out.  While we are reading over the Wonder, students are encouraged to write down new learning or something they have found interesting.

I haven't put an amount on what they have to write either before, during or after we discuss the Wonder of the Day.  I want this to be an authentic and meaningful learning experience.  The experience won't be as authentic if I give them a set amount of writing they have to do.  As the year has progressed, I have encouraged students to write more because they are more familiar with the routine.  Furthermore, we've spent time discussing that the Wonders are like any other text we may read.  When we are more text we are interested in, have more background knowledge and more thinking and wondering, we write more about that text.

I have been asked several times how much time I devote to the Wonder each day and student Wonder Journals.  Students arrive between 8:30 and 8:50.  They have to do their Wonder Journals each morning and a Number of the Day Journal.  We usually start going over both at around 9:10.  We usually spend about 10-15 minutes discussing, reading over and sometimes leaving Wonderopolis a comment.  It really depends on the Wonder, how interested and engaged the students are in the Wonder and how it pertains to our curriculum.

Students also use their Wonder Journals for other things.  They often write in their Wonder Journals during reading workshop, because they wonder about the book they are reading or they want to write what they have learned from a nonfiction book.  They also will write Wonder Words in their journals that they would like to try using in their own writing.

Below are two examples of student Wonder Journals with the link to the the Wonder.  The second example is something students have started doing on their own as they have become more comfortable with using See, Think, Wonder in our classroom and with the Wonder of the Day.

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