Monday, January 30, 2012
An NCFL Grant to Extend My Wonderopolis World
A few months ago, several of my Dublin colleagues and I received $500 grants for technology that would allow us to increase literacy in our classrooms. The grant was awarded by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) the sponsors of the Wonderopolis web site. NCFL was looking for ways to help teachers use technology in creative ways to increase literacy.
My friend Maria at Teaching in the 21st Century, an ambassador for Wonderopolis before she was even selected as an official Wonder Ambassador, told me I needed to apply. I've been using the Wonderopolis web site in the library for a while now, since she put me onto it and have found it to work well with all of the kids grades 1 - 5 that I have each day. I figured I had nothing to lose and knew I had been wanting/needing to get some iPads for our library so I applied. Lo and behold, not only did I get one, Maria got one and our kindergarten teacher Kitsy got one. It seems the good folks at NCFL were intrigued by the collaboration possibilities of three recipients in one building. In order to seal the deal the three of us had to sit down and come up with a way to collaborate with the iPads to bring Wonderopolis to a new place at Bailey.
It's been an exciting journey so far and I think we've come up with some pretty good ideas with our collaboration. For example, I've been playing with QR codes this year, I've converted my Amazing Library Race clues to all QR codes, I've been placing QR codes in random books with links to web sites or extensions of the books and recently I've been going through the non-fiction section and putting codes that link to Wonderopolis where the Wonder of the Day extends the book.
The three of us have some big plans for using Wonderopolis to create a file of QR codes that link to Wonders of the Day that will connect to the curriculum standards and beyond and I'm working on some sort of Wonderopolis scavenger hunt for my 4th and 5th graders. It's amazing what great professional development comes out of three teachers sitting down and working together for the good of the students in their building. Amazingly we didn't talk about data or statistics or grades, just how the creative and innovative use of technology will increase our students knowledge base and literacy. Can't wait to get started.
Thanks NCFL for your support of good teaching!