Wednesday, September 25, 2013

AASL Best Website: Wonderopolis

Each year the American Association of School Librarians publishes a list of "best websites for teaching and learning." The list for 2013 features a great website that you should know: Wonderopolis

The AASL blog provides the following ideas and information about Wonderopolis:

Have you ever wondered about…well just about anything? Do you find yourself thinking why do people believe that picking up a penny on the sidewalk will bring them luck (#1019), why do we blow out birthday candles (#366), or why do zebras have stripes (#852)? Well, look no further than Wonderopolis, an informational yet whimsical Website which sparks curiosity and motivates students to delve further into topics that interest them.

With each new Wonder of the Day, students are able to explore topics through pictures, informational text with a listen/play button and related videos. Every Wonder of the Day includes: introductory questions to introduce content and spark discussion and further exploration, a Wonder Gallery to post pictures or videos, Wonder Words, a vocabulary list with words grouped by level with definitions and a word match challenge, Try it Out, activities used to extend learning at home, Still Wondering, a link to lessons for more in depth study,Test your Knowledge, a 3 question quiz, Wonder Categories and Tags and Wonder What’s Next, the clue for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day.

Newly redesigned in May, 2013, Wonderopolis content is aligned to Blooms Digital Taxonomy, the STEM Educational Quality Framework and the Common Core State Standards. Beside the daily Wonder of the Day, Wonders can be searched from more than 90 Wonder Categories by subject matter and grade level. Users can also suggest Wonders, as well as vote for their favorite Wonder. Teachers and parents can visit the Educator Sandbox to find additional resources and link up with others in the “Wonderopolis Community.”

The National Center for Family Literacy has created Wonderopolis “as a place where parents nurture a brighter world for their children through discovery, creativity, learning and imagination.” The Website is supported by a grant from Verizon Foundation and is part of Thinkfinity, an educational platform where educators can access free researched-based educational resources.

Take some time to explore Wonderopolis and share it with your teachers. Let us know how you like it in the comments! 

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