Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Wonder Wall

Have you ever been in the middle of a lesson when a child asks an interesting question, somewhat related to what you are teaching but you don't have time to discuss the answer? Or you really want to leave the question unanswered so the kids can research it on their own? Of course you have. In the elementary classroom, this comes up often. 

A few weeks ago, we were studying Natural Water sources and distinguishing between fresh and salt water. Then the question came up about glaciers. Are glaciers made up of fresh or salt water? I asked the class what they thought and there was quite a discussion and debate. I enjoyed watching them hash it out but then I came up with the idea of a "Wonder Wall". There is so much that we wonder about and I want the kids to learn to use their resources and find their own answers. We attach our questions on the top part of the poster with a sticky note. During our morning workstation time, students can use computers to research their answer or go to the library to check out a book on the topic. When we learn the answer, we move it down below and leave it posted for awhile. 

So far, I've only used this with Science but could see this working with other subject areas too.  I haven't taken a picture of the poster with the answer yet but I plan to. A day later 2 of my students discovered that glaciers are, in fact, fresh water. End of debate. 

The question we have now is "why is manure a good fertilizer?" They are still researching this one! Stay tuned...


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