A Big Day for Big Learning! Active Agents in a Digital World!

What a great day in first grade! We had a big day of learning and saw exactly how our thinking matters in the larger community. Way to live a curious life first graders!

Each Wednesday we follow Wonderopolis.org and engage in our “Wonder Wednesday” challenge. We view recent wonders posted to the website and then create our own blog posts, either responding to Wonderopolis or sharing our own wonderings.

This site has become a classroom favorite and kids now visit it throughout the week. On Friday, one student was thinking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day and asked, “Are leprechauns real?”

As we pondered the question, someone said, “Hey! I know! Let’s send the question to Wonderopolis.” So we did. I modeled how to submit a question on my iPad and projected it for the class to see. We submitted our question and then several students submitted additional wonders to the Wonderopolis website.

Well on Saturday morning, you can imagine how THRILLED I was when I checked my Twitter feed and saw the Wonder of the Day.

I could hardly wait for my students to enter the building! As soon as they came in, I had them get their iPads and go straight to the website. When my class saw Wonder #531 the room erupted in squeals! Such joy! Total amazement! What a feeling of empowerment!

I have been teaching my kids all year that they need to live a curious life. Ask questions. Seek answers. Look for deeper meaning. Have a set of resources that can help you find the answers to your questions. Access experts in your every day life.


Today Wonderopolis gave them a foundational experience for what it feels like to be a digital citizen and member of the global learning community. My kids have now experienced curiosity and the “search curriculum.” They are inspired to ask again and are moved to let the world know their thinking matters! Today they truly believe that others are interested in their ideas and the thoughts and questions they have to share.

After celebrating this milestone, my students got right to working letting people know that their wonder had been answered. Nearly every child posted a new blog announcing the “big news.” Six students created iMovies with student interviews and screen shots from Wonderopolis. Four children created instructional eBooks on how to use Wonderopolis and another is currently working on a Keynote to share with the kindergarten class.

THIS is the type of thinking and learning that matters.

My students know how to ask, use and share information. They can name and employ tools to document their thinking and take it public to teach others. They are active agents in their own curriculum development and they confidently promote learning.

What more could a teacher ask for?

THANK YOU Wonderopolis for making this monumental day of learning possible.

I know that this experience has changed my students as digital citizens and will serve as a catalyst for future learning. Three cheers for Wonderopolis and the curious kids in Room 106!

About Kristin

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. A first grade teacher in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She inspires educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. To learn more about her work follow her on Twitter @KristinZiemke.
This entry was posted in 2.0 Tools, Active Literacy, Collaboration, Inquiry, iPad, Research Workshop, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Big Day for Big Learning! Active Agents in a Digital World!

  1. Pingback: A Big Day for Big Learning! Active Agents in a Digital World! | Creativity in teaching | Scoop.it

  2. TeqPD says:

    Three cheers to you for being a teacher who understands the value of teaching curiosity everyday in your classroom. What a wonderful experience for your students!

    • Kristin says:

      Thanks so much! I hope to model curiosity IN my classroom so my students live curiously OUTSIDE of my classroom! That’s what it’s all about, right? We’re learning so much every day! :)

What are your thoughts? Please share!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s