So many questions! How does the sun work? Where do stars go in the daytime? How come you can hear me? Can people disagree and still be friends? There is a place you can go to find answers to these wondrous wonders and more or even post your own personal "wonder." That place is called wonderopolis.org.
What to do
The Wonderopolis home page is wonderopolis.org has many exciting activities and events on the main page. The side menu takes you to their treasure trove of interesting ideas and information. You can view the Wonder of the Day, explore Wonders, submit your own Wonder or vote for favorite Wonders. There is also an Educator Sandbox page that offers many great ideas and activities instructions for families.
ANDEREGG, MACALADY, FOX, HETRICK, KATERS
Every summer Camp-WhatA-Wonder has a new theme each week. Sign up to receive the Camp What-A-Wonder Bulletin to keep up with all the latest Camp updates. Once at the site, you can also use the Follow Us menu to receive daily Wonders on your Facebook, Twitter, or RSS accounts. You can also enter your phone number and e-mail address to subscribe to receive the Wonder of the Day in your message inbox.
Each wonder has a short video, images, questions, and vocabulary. After reading the information or watching the video. There are also comprehension and listening check questions, if you are reading to very young children. The interesting explanations have links to click on to dig further and further into a topic.
There are also questions to help children with friends. One Wonder of the Day is what does is mean to agree to disagree? There is an entire web page devoted to analyzing this question from a variety of viewpoints. There are pictures that symbolize the concepts, a video, an audio storytelling example, and also Wonder Words to expand vocabulary in this area. There are even interactive "try outs" for practicing this social skill and a quiz to engage your children.
How does this help
Everyone wonders. It happens anywhere anytime. It is a good habit especially for children to develop. Encourage children to be explorers on paths to new discovery. Since Wonderopolis started in 2010, it has been recognized as a fresh approach to wonder and learning, receiving many awards from many organizations including: "TIME "magazine, Parenting.com, "USA Today", and "Learning Magazine." The Wonder content also aligns with current national and state curriculum for preschool through high school.
For more wondrous activities also see grandparentsteachtoo.org or pod casts at wnmufm.org "Learning Through the Seasons." Guest writer is educator, Fran Darling, computer consultant.
Editor's note: This column is penned by retired Marquette Area Public Schools teachers Iris Katers, Jean Hetrick, and Cheryl Anderegg. Esther Macalady is from Golden, Colorado. Tim Fox currently teaches at Superior Hills Elementary. It's supported by Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, the School of Education, U.P. Children's Museum, U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, and U.P. Parent Awareness of Michigan. Their book "Learning Through the Seasons" is available at area stores and www.grandparentsteachtoo.org. Their mission is to provide fun standards based activities that adults can do in the home to prepare children for school and a lifetime of learning and reduce the stress of child care.