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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Wonderopolis Made My Day

During my English department meeting yesterday, one of our regular subs came and pulled me out. My boss sent him. He is going to be subbing long-term for another English teacher, and I was asked to make lesson plans for this class during her absence for this particular sub. 

Not a problem, except that: one,  I was scheduled to be out Wednesday for a TELPAS testing coordinator meeting (that's our ELL state test for those of you outside Tejas);  two, I have no idea what her classes have been working on (we all do our own thing); and three, it was the very end of the school day. I emailed my boss and let her know that I would be putting together some day-to-day lessons until I could talk to students from this teacher's classes upon my return Thursday.

At our staff meeting after school, I made a list of possible online resources to use (and yes, I was still paying attention; multi-tasker extraordinaire). My colleague recommended  Wonderopolis. I am familiar with the site, and I have heard many others talk about it, but I have never used it myself. I had looked at it before, but not in-depth.

My class has been working on "Flowers for Algernon," and I know the other teacher taught at least part of the story. So, when I got home, I looked up mouse on the site, and found an article about mice and cheese. A bit of a stretch, but the kids need to be able to make intertextual connections. So I threw together a step-by-step lesson for the sub, using the article "Why do mice love cheese?" and information from the site. And then I tweeted about it. 

This morning, I woke up to a tweet back from Wonderopolis:

My first thought: "Well, I cannot say no, but man, are they going to be disappointed. It's just a quick lesson for a sub." Then I got all sorts of confused about DM, but that's another story. 

The response to my lesson was much different than I expected:

Seriously? Who am I to turn down a well-known website from using my lesson based on their information? 

I appreciate this moment and the response from Wonderopolis. It is nice to know that the work I do is appreciated, especially by (what I now know is) a wonderful and resourceful group. 

Thank you, Wonderopolis. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. I know we are supposed to be intrinsically motivated but having someone acknowledge your ideas helps to keep us motivated. I have been looking for a nonfiction piece to accompany my 7th/8th Grade Computer Literacy class's reading of "Catching Fire." I looked at Wonderopolis and found a piece on "Ligers." It fits wonderfully! I will have to show the video part separately because our school filters out Vimeo but that is just a minor deterrent.