Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wonder Wall Wednesday September 11, 2013

September 11. That day brings back haunting memories for all of us over the age of  I think 25. For those under that age, I think it is still a blur, that is recalled with loose ends via video clips and photos. It is a day my first graders will NEVER remember, but one day will learn about. Though we briefly, ever so briefly made a mention of it at calendar time that today is a remembering of a rough day in the USA and don't we all have rough days, it is a day to celebrate doing our best to overcome adversity.

Then we went right from calendar time to our Wonder Wall Wednesday. Here are our wonders for the day.

One student wanted to know: How much is a gallon of  ice cream? So first we wrote our names down under favorite kinds...(pick two). We drew tallies and chocolate won. Then we researched most favorite ice cream in the world...and the answer was vanilla. We discussed why...more things to add in or on it...you can make it special.

Then we got a sideline question...what IS a gallon??  We learned that in a gallon is 16 cups of ice cream and I quickly drew my chart again....

Then a word popped up. AVERAGE. As you know first graders are not sure what average means...and so we learned about AVERAGE. WE added up all our ages and divided them by the total amount of people. In this case, there was seven so in our first grade small group, including me, our average age was 11. Now that blew their minds.

And now we could talk about how much a gallon of ice cream was!!! We wrote down our answers, put them in order and learned that the average price was 4-5 dollars. That meant that some cost way more..some cost less.

The other topic we hit for our Wonder Wall Wednesday was: How far is it to the center of the Earth?  First we guessed how far it was. We are getting better at making good estimations as we are learning about big, big numbers! Then we learned that the Earth has four parts: crust, mantle, core and inner core.  We learned that it is stinking hot and there is no way people can physically find out..they will burn up after a few hundred feet digging down into Earth! We also processed why you really can't dig a hole to China...but keep trying.( Its too far, to long, too hot) It is 3,959 miles to the center of the Earth.

I always learn something knew during our Wonder Wall Wednesdays. I hope you do too. I really hope the students are enjoying this process. We most certainly go beyond  First Grade Common Core Standards! We dive into what they want to know! Students don't learn much of anything when a teacher does all the work for them...it takes the students leading discussions to build retention. It takes teaching the students to be global explorers as well.  Although our Wonder Wall Wednesdays are a challenging day, I would suggest to you that students learn well when they are challenged and in an enriching environment that involves messy learning with questions that lead to more questions full of curiosity and wondering.