Often in teaching I learn about different resources and my Dingo account is over bookmarked with many sites that I learn about from twitter.  In addition, I have a wide variety of professional books that I often refer too but typically during the summer when I have the time to process the ideas. 

One teacher resource that I have used consistently is Wonderopolis, and I have grown over the past two years on how I incorporate wonders into my classroom.  This year I have had the opportunity to be part of Wonder Year 2012.  I have told every teacher/parent/friend that I know about how amazing Wonderopolis is and how easy the site it to navigate. One of my colleagues and friends, Franki Sibberson has released The Joy of Planning: Designing Minilesson Cycles in Grades 3-6.


Her focus on minilessons and explaining how she thinks through her different units is insightful.  I sticky noted, highlighted and wrote all over my copy.  I appreciate how hard she works on her thinking prior to instruction. She also lists a wide variety of resources for teachers to support lesson planning.  I was extremely excited to read about how she uses Wonderopolis in her classroom.

A. Lesson:  There are many ways to record thinking while you read.
Franki discusses the importance of modeling our thinking as she shares a wonder of the day on her interactive whiteboard. She circles key vocabulary, records her questions, and annotates where she is confused as a reader. Then she passes out another wonder and has her students record their own thinking. For follow up, together they create a class anchor chart about ways to record thinking.

B.  Lesson:  Identifying Unknown Vocabulary

Franki uses Wonderopolis in the follow up part of this mini lesson. “By discussing an online piece, students can see those strategies for identifying unknown words”

Wonderopolis has a tab for every wonder that lists the focus vocabulary in addition the students can find the words in the wonder and use different strategies including context clues.

I read Franki’s book in one sitting and then again as I marked it up and made it my own.  It is an excellent book if you are looking for a book that “takes you into her process of designing short sequence lessons.”  I highly recommend this book it sure helped me to organize my planning.

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