Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let them Wonder!

During our science water cycle unit, I had so much fun watching my students wonder, discuss, explain and try figuring out the answers to their wonders.

The first big wonder came up when they were sharing what they knew about evaporation after watching a video clip. Here is a Today's Meet feed.

It was clear to me that they knew the sun played a big role on evaporation. Then...somehow the students started talking about sunlight. "Yeah, water evaporates when it is light outside." "Yeah!" "No" "Yeah!"  Okay... so... I asked them why they said yes and why some said no. Some were sticking with the idea of the sun's heat. Some chose both.

My next question was "How can we find out?" Ooooo... I know my students don't always appreciate this question:) One student once said politely, "Why don't you tell us the answer?" But this time it was different!! One student suggested an experiment. How? After a long discussion and a little help from me, we chose a flashlight and a burner as an alternative to the sun's light and heat. They were so excited to find the answer after conducting the experiment. 

The second wonder came up when I was reading a book about water cycle. One of the students asked a question. “How long would it take for water to go around the cycle?” I responded with “How do you think we can find out?” The responses were; by reading the book, looking up on the internet, Tweeting the question. Then one student’s face brightened up. “Maybe we can color the water. Then it will make colored clouds and come back as colored rain, then we will know!” This idea sparked more wonders from other students. I sent them back to record their wonders on a sticky note. Since we had been studying water cycle for a while, the students were answering each other's questions as much as they could. Then I remembered about a weather guy on Twitter! I tweeted the questions to him and he replied back to us.

My students were excited to hear the answers but a bit disappointed about no rainbow colored clouds and rain:)

On both days my lessons did not go as I planned because it was interrupted by my students' thinking and wonders. But you know what? I was more than thrilled to be  interrupted! I always encourage my students to wonder. Now they are wondering on their own when they want to! I am one happy teacher;)