Monday, January 17, 2011

Do Fish Drink Water?

There are many things I adore about teaching GT children. One of them is they often stump me with their questions. We were talking about getting a class pet for the room and we're going to go with a fish. They were discussing names when one of my quieter students raised their hands and asked "do fish drink water?". My response: "what an excellent question! I'm going to have to look up the answer to that".

That's not the first time I've ever been stumped by these little ones. They've asked why flamingos are pink, how they make bulletproof glass (I think it was after an action-movie weekend)-because you have to be able to still see through it, but it has to be strong too. They are something else.

What I do every year is post a Wonder Wall. Which is just a posterboard with sticky notes available for them to record their questions. On Fridays we take some time and sit down in front of Brainpop or Discovery Education and find the answers. I think encouraging this kind of questioning is so important with any students, but particularly with GT kiddos. It's how everyone learns new things, to think of the question and ask!

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  1. I love the Wonder Wall! I do not teach GT but I do encourage my Kinders to ask questions and become detectives in their world! Now I need to think about where I can add an I Wonder Wall!!!

  2. Love the idea of the Wonder Wall! My kids always ask crazy questions and I do try to google them during choice time haha.

    How do your kids get put in GT before kindergarten... is there some kind of assessment or process their parents have to put them through to get into it...? We don't have it already us so I'm just curious.

  3. Thank you for your comments!

    Here we test 4-year olds using the WIATT and one other test I can't remember the name of. High Scores there, plus parent/teacher recommendation can qualify the child for GT. They have public testing Saturdays where parents can sign their little ones up to be tested. Many schools encourage Pre-K teachers to be on the lookout for candidates.

    I often hear that they are too young and sometimes we do get high achievers labeled as GT however, I love that we can come in during the beginning of their educational careers and lay that foundation for critical thinking, etc. I think it's unfortunate to hear a child in Kinder is bored! :)

  4. Another awesome post :) I've started something similar in my 6th grade class. The plan is for them to use these questions later to develop independent projects.

  5. Thanks so much Ian! That is a good idea to have them continue their line of questioning and extending it into a project. I wish my kids could do an "independent" anything! :) But maybe if they work in groups, hmmm. That might be something I have to try myself.