by Laura Guest, ASD
Session: Fostering wonder, empowering curiosity and inspiring inquiry –Presented by Katie Clark
Katie’s serene presentation was spot on. Through her presentation slides, she reminded us how curious children are by nature. How often do we hear “why” from the youngest child, then a bit later “how come, what is it, how does it work” only to have them replaced by stony silence as they move from grade to grade? As we rush through curriculum we feel pressured to move on at the speed of light leaving no room for curiosity. Many of my lessons were designed for a 50 minute library class and I realize now, I am trying to teach them in 30 minutes leaving us all frazzled at the end of library.
Trying to prove to administrators, co-workers and parents that I am teaching something of value, I have forgotten to take the time to slow down and enjoy the books I am reading to my students. I have been rushing through the story, maybe calling on one or two students to quickly answer a question I pose and turning the page. I often have an activity that relates to our books that include the AASL library standards and the related CCSS as proof I taught something of value. Katie’s session reminded me that I need to teach these skills by allowing the students to do the inquiring. Katie suggests using the phrases “I notice” (understanding what you see) and “I wonder” (a form of critical thinking). A website that would have been perfect for my oldest son, whose first word was ‘why’, is Wonderopolis®. Their website states “Welcome to Wonderopolis®, a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Each day, we pose an intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day®—and explore it in a variety of ways.”
My next lesson will use the book Do Not Open the Box by Timothy Young a book that will easily encourage curiosity! Rather than squeezing too much into one lesson, we’ll slow down and it might take three or four for the students to create their own box with a surprise.