“We have been in school for 19 days.”

We start off our math time with that statement (adjusting for the days in school of course). Nineteen days in school and my kindergarteners are moving right along. Wonderopolis has made an appearance almost every day…almost.  Some days we just watch the video and talk about it. Other days, the question and image on the Wonderopolis homescreen is enough to create rich discussion for several minutes. Our time spent with Wonderopolis – about 5 minutes in these early days.

I’m always sure to fill the room with curiosity and excitment when it’s Wonderopolis-time.  I want the kids to know that wondering is fun, and when you don’t know what to wonder about, Wonderopolis can help. I never drag it out. It can go there. I’ve done it, and they lose interest. I always end it with them wanting to know more. Then I tell them to finish the wondering at home with family. If they have more to share the next day – I’m all ears.

The first few days of school, I drew a couple of strange looks from the kids. I’m certain they were thinking “What’s up with this Wonderopolis – and why is this guy so excited about it?!” I have no expectation of them “getting it” at this point. I just want them to know that some magical learning can happen when we visit Wonderopolis.

Today I sensed them making a connection. I could tell that some have figured out that what they see on Wonderopolis relates to them and their surroundings. Each day’s new wonder is ripe with spur-of-the-moment learning. They see the wonder, ask the questions, and ultimately guide the learning. It’s fun (a challenging-fun) as a teacher to take a student’s thought or comment, be quick-on-the-draw, then hatch a two-minute mini-lesson to support it. I feel much better doing that sometimes than meeting an objective lined out in a teacher’s manual.

Today, Wonderopolis asked – “Do Opposites Attract?”, and this is how we extended our learning. By the way, we do a science unit on magnets. This was a perfect introduction.

Magnets from Jon Fines on Vimeo.


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