This school year we launched our Wonder Wall in the library and began a program that released students to explore topics they were curious about as they practiced and learned reading and writing strategies. The feeling of freedom that students began to feel as they chose topics that most interested them brought excitement and energy to our teaching and learning. One of the challenges of moving to remote school has been helping students to continue to explore their wonderings as they learn new skills and strategies. We needed to have structures in place to support them do this work at home. Here are a few structures I have started to build to support students’ curiosity research at home.
My colleague, literacy specialist Jen Ryan, and I have been working as a team for a long time, so it was natural that we began building structures for students together. Jen has developed, taught and recorded many wonderful literacy lessons to launch curiosity projects with classroom teachers in their remote classrooms. I have worked behind the scenes building digital resource shelves for students to easily access nonfiction text to learn about their topic and find answers to their questions. One way we organized the digital information for students is through teacher-created documents that shared students’ questions. I located texts that took into consideration grade and reading levels and added links to these resources for each question.
As we continued to build resources I used Google Slides to organize the class’ topics and texts and created slides for each student. Here is an example:
To further support teachers and students, I created some slideshows and lessons highlighting research skills such as searching with keywords and citing sources. Examples of these lessons, along with one of Jen’s lesson on note taking can be found at the beginning of the example slideshow above.
Finally, I used Padlet to create a virtual Wonder Wall to showcase the students’ informational writing projects.
These resources will be able to be used to support future curiosity reading and writing projects both in school and at home, whatever the situation is.