What are YOU Wondering?

I thank jarhartz for posting this video on her blog post. Before I comment on what I love about the video I want to highlight this text found in her post:

If you’re a literacy teacher, you know about the power of talk. Talk helps get those morsels of possibility going. Things students aren’t ready to commit to paper. Things that live in their heads and could be developed, if they just talked about it.

I highlighted the you know…wondering if all literacy teachers really do know about the power of talk?  It is something that has certainly stuck with me after my week at NYC and something I am committed to fostering more with my students this year.  Something else besides the “you know” that popped out at me is the word choice of “morsel” to describe a seed of a thought.  So clever!

The video posted the following questions:

  • What if more classrooms were habitats in which wonder thrived?
  • What if classrooms were places where children knew their questions would be heard?
  • What if it were more exciting in a classroom to not know something than it was to know?

The video posted the following statements:

  • Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. – Socrates
  • Inquiry teachers don’t just teach things that will soon be forgotten.  They instill within them a hunger and a passion for learning.
  • Inquiry teachers know that their job is not to fill the children heads with soon forgotten things but rather to instill in them a hunger, a passion, to nurture that curiosity they were born with, to listen to their questions, to ensure they are comfortable with uncertainty.

The video also reference this poem:


Like Captured Fireflies

John Steinbeck

In her classroom our speculations ranged the world.

She aroused us to book waving discussions.

Every morning we came to her carrying new truths, new facts, new ideas,

Cupped and sheltered in our hands

like captured fireflies.

When she went away a sadness came over us,

But the light did not go out.

She left her signature upon us,

The literature of the teacher

who writes on children’s minds.

I’ve had many teachers who taught us

soon forgotten things,

But only a few like her who created in me a new thing a new attitude, a new hunger.

I suppose that to a large extent I am the unsigned manuscript of that teacher.

What deathless power lies

in the hands of such a person.

But of all the things I want to remember from the video it is the prompt: “What are you wondering?”  In the video this is the question the kindergarten teacher posed to her students when they found a praying mantis in their classroom.  This is all she needed to say to get the questions to soar!


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