Thursday, August 4, 2011

Promoting Inquiry

      I have been thinking a lot about how I will promote inquiry in my third grade class next year. I've been reading lots of great blogs, professional books, and even tweets on this subject and hope that my classroom next year is one where real authentic learning propelled by authentic purpose and intrinsic motivation is encouraged as well as valued.
     I read about in Choice literacy this winter and immediately emailed the site to my fellow teachers. I started thinking about how I would use this site. Then I stumbled upon a  great blog that gave me so many great examples of how to use the site to get kids motivated to learn and to inquire.          

Here are some goals for next year....

  • I want to model for kids how a WONDER or a question or an interest can lead them to dig deep into topics, inquire and research based on their individual questions and interests.
  • I want to set up a wonder station in my classroom. I am hoping this can be a spot to read wonderopolis articles online, record wonders kids are having, provide lots of non fiction books to read, research facts and record important thinking as well as further wonders they have. 
  • Each kid will have a wonder journal where they will list wonders and record new important learning.
  • I am hoping that through looking at the structure of Wonderopolis articles as mentor texts to do some non fiction writing of our own through! I think blogging is going to give us some authentic purposes for writing. I am excited to get kids writing for a real audience and not just me the teacher.
  • I want to build in lots of sharing time for kids to talk with the whole class, small groups and partners about their wonder learning.
  • Another great blog, gave me the idea to create a whole class wonder jar at the beginning of the year and have kids bring in artifacts that represent their wonders.
      Kelly Gallagher got me thinking this year about students prior knowledge and how the experiences they bring to the text help them understand and make meaning. He encouraged teachers to bring in more social studies, more science, more content area reading to close gaps in understanding. I am hoping through year long inquiry projects this will help kids build more background knowledge. 
     Thank you to everyone who gave me such great ideas this summer and posted great ways to use Wonderopolis to promote Wondering and inquiry!!


  1. Sounds like an exciting start to your year and I am so excited you are choosing to have your students WONDER so much learning can occur with inquiry. Thanks for the shout out for my blog!

  2. I'm excited to keep reading your blog Maria to see how your students use inquiry and WONDER in the classroom. You've given me so many great ideas through your blog! Have a WONDERFUL school year!

  3. Amy,
    Lots of great ideas here. I think you've had a busy summer. All of this talk about wonder has me thinking about trying to frame my year around it. Hmmm....