What was your favorite?                                                                                       Snow-White-and-the-Seven-Dwarfs-Wallpaper-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-6013255-1024-768.jpg

Fairy tales are a fond memory of my childhood and something I loved sharing with my children, but these stories may go deeper than the simple text of the tales. Not too long ago I was astounded to learn that aside from their universal appeal, some fairy tales may be founded in fact.  Wonder  912: Can Fairy Tales Be True? taps into information from this article and is a great springboard for discussing the factual background and inspiration of many stories, not just of fairy tales.

 

The many versions of Cinderella made me wonder if the plight of a stepdaughter being mistreated by her stepmother was common enough that it rang true in many cultures—there are tales with similar situations and outcomes that appeared in French (Perrault’s Cinderilla), German (Grimm’s Cinderella), English (Tatercoats), Vietnamese (In the Land of Small Dragon), Chinese (Beauty and Pock Face), and Native American (Little Burnt Face) cultures. 

 

Along with Wonder 912, explore these Wonders – Wonder 184: Who Was Hans Christian Andersen? and Wonder 21: What Fairy Tale Ending Would You Change? – to learn more with your child about fairy tales. Visit the library or search online together for various versions to some of the more popular fairy tales to enjoy, analyze details, and compare. 

 

The recent focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) has concerned me that education related to the arts would suffer, and in some schools and districts that is no doubt the case. Budget cuts, such as those continuing to occur, are often first felt in areas of arts and in sports/physical education and activities—areas often felt to be “extras.” Whether or not they are extras is a matter of opinion, but parents and families interested in supporting their children’s exposure to these areas have often had to supplement with afterschool programs.

 

However, a STEM focus (which some now are calling STEAM as a way of inserting the Arts), is not necessarily exclusive. In fact, as Wonder 904: What Is Pointillism? illustrates, these areas are often entwined and 300px-A_Sunday_on_La_Grande_Jatte,_Georges_Seurat,_1884.jpg

inform one another. Maybe pointillism was the precursor to the pixels used for color printing and for the projection of digital images for television, computers, and photography.

 

Educators can "build STEAM" by choosing to integrate the arts into their STEM-focused instruction. The attached lesson is an example of how a high school instructor did just that.

 

I know there is a huge crossover with music as well. Where do you see the integration of the arts in our STEM-focused learning?

 

mabell

Want to take a break?

Posted by mabell Mar 20, 2013

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Spring Break is coming up and not all of us are able to travel to someplace exciting. But you can do something fun together, and explore new places …virtually! Use the Geography category in Wonderopolis to locate and “visit” a few interesting places. Then think of a way to celebrate that learning together.


Here are a few ideas to get you started:

baseball-player-hit-ball.jpgTogether, take a tour of the Windy City and then, in honor of the Cubs and White Sox, try to line up a baseball game at a local college or high school (they're often free); or rent a movie about baseball, such as the “Bad News Bears.” (Fix a little popcorn to make it a fun event. You know, Chicago has some of the best popcorn around!)

 

Where Does the Sun Never Set?  Start by reading this Wonder and watching the incredibly beautiful video of the midnight sun. Celebrate your learning about the Arctic Circle by sharing a snow cone or shaved ice!

 

Learn about Venice in Wonder 744: What Is a Gondola? and together prepare a WONDERful Italian dinner. And don’t say goodnight—that would be Buona notte!

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Don’t forget the Big Apple! Visit New York City virtually in Wonder 718 and then see how many great NY icons you can list together. Known for its great subway system, celebrate with a ride on your own community's public transportation system. If your community doesn’t have public transportation, take a bike ride or drive to view a famous spot in your own area.

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Spring is just around the corner (I keep telling myself as I see snowflakes drifting down), and it's a great time to start thinking about the little things that we'll be seeing all around us.

Use Wonder 893: Where Do Ants Live? to learn about these tiny and interesting insects. Expand your knowledge by checking out these related Wonders (and more)--Wonder 836: Do Insects Work Out? and Wonder 871: How Strong is Silk?

 

You and your kids will be stunned--insects are truly AMAZING!!

 

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Here are a few great ways to get children to focus on this smaller world underfoot:

  • Make a homemade magnifier using some simple common materials. This will help you examine things up close and it's fun to learn a little about the qualities of magnification.


1.  You'll need: a container, such as a cup or glass; a few small items to place in the bottom of the glass; a piece of plastic wrap to fit over the glass and a rubberband to hold it in place; and water.

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2.  Make a dip in the plastic wrap before fitting the rubberband around the top of the glass. Pour some water into this concave area. You've created a lens that magnifies what you see when looking through it!

  • If your child is young, visit the library and read together Denise Fleming's colorful book, In the Tall, Tall Grass to take a look at different animals that inhabit a grassy area. For older kids, pursue their interest and curiosity with a library visit or an online search to learn more.

 

Ask those questions together and have fun WONDERing. Please contribute your ideas -- I'm eager to hear what you and your child are WONDERing!

Let's keep our wonderful Thinkfinity Community growing. Please Invite colleagues, parents, friends & family to join.

 

Here is a short statement you can use to spread the word. Tweet it, add it to your Facebook page and email it out:

 

Click "Join Now" at community.thinkfinity.org to be connected to 1000's of educators and great resources. U won't be disappointed!

Visit Wonderopolis today for the final 2011 health literacy and wellness topic featured as part of the Happy Healthy Habits series. Today’s focus is on medicine.

 

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Today’s Wonder of the Day is: How Does Medicine Know Where You Hurt? Read this Wonder with your children and then discuss taking medicine. It seems a bit mysterious, but how does medicine know where you hurt in order to help you get better?

 

Sometimes we have to swallow a pill, which can be difficult for many children. Do your children have to take medicine regularly? Is there a way to make taking medicine less difficult? Watch this video clip to learn how to take a pill more easily. Sometimes the medicine is a syrup or liquid—it can be flavored but occasionally it tastes pretty nasty. To learn about getting shots, revisit this Wonder: Why Can’t All Medicine Be Swallowed?

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about growing pains.

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: Do Growing Pains Hurt? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing growth. Are your children anxious to get older and bigger? What happy, healthy habits can they develop to help them grow up healthy?

 

If you get a chance, share your opinion with us: How Do You Redeem Your Time? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

dbolin

Why Do I Have To Get Shots?

Posted by dbolin Nov 2, 2011

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about shots.

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: Why Can't All Medicine Be Swallowed? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing how medicine works and why they have to get shots from time to time. Do your children dread shots? How can you make the process easier for them?

 

If you get a chance, share your opinion with us: Flu Season Is Almost Upon Us. Do Your Children Dread Shots? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in October and November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about sugar.

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: When Is Sugar Too Much of a Good Thing? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing their Halloween plans with them! How much candy do they plan to eat on Halloween? How can they still have fun without making unhealthy decisions? What alternatives to candy might they enjoy?

 

If you get a chance, share your opinion with us: Do You Use Halloween as a Chance To Discuss Nutrition? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in October and November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about exercise.

 

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: What's Your Favorite Way To Exercise? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing exercise with them! Do you currently exercise together as a family? What's your favorite way to exercise? What things can you do to be more active as a family?

 

If you get a chance, share your opinion with us: Do You Exercise as a Family? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in October and November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about stress.

 

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: Do You Need To Study for a Stress Test? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing stress with them! Do they feel stress? What causes those feelings? What things can you do as a family to reduce stress?

 

If you get a chance, share your opinion with us: What Do Your Kids Get Stressed Out About? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

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Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in October and November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about nutrition.

 

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Today's Wonder of the Day is: Can an Apple a Day Chase the Doctor Away? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing nutrition with them! Does your family make good decisions when it comes to nutrition? What nutritious foods do your children enjoy? What changes might you need to make as a family to make nutrition a higher priority?

 

If you get a chance, vote in our online poll: What Nutritious "Super Foods" Do Your Children Enjoy? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Duane

Wonderopolis

In 2008, there was a devastating fire that blackened a huge area of North Orange County, California.  My son's  home was in the path of the fire.  Thanks to the firefighters, his home was spared!

 

Only yesterday did I discover that a year and a half ago, high school students from a local high school  replanted a 1 acre hillside that was engulfed in flames.  Check out the video http://disney.go.com/friendsforchange/?int_cmp=dcom_FFC_CDS_redirect   and click on "Friends for Change - Brea Olinda Tree Planting" under "Playlist".

 

Kudos to these remarkable teens!!

wonder04.jpgCalling all families and teachers who believe in uncovering learning opportunities in everyday moments: Wonderopolis®, the online learning destination brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), is on the hunt for families and teachers to become the voice of Wonderopolis.

 

The Wonder Year Adventure is open to the general public and will kick off with a hunt for three families and two teachers from diverse communities across the nation to join the groundbreaking family learning site for a Wonder Year.

 

After receiving exclusive training from NCFL, the Wonder Families and Wonder Teachers will begin sharing their learning experiences by posting to Wonderopolis each week and igniting a conversation through their posts and responses to the visitors’ comments. Social media will also play a large role in the Wonder Year as families and teachers will promote online and offline events through channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

 

Wonder Teachers will become an essential part of the community, helping parents and teachers create a bridge between learning in classroom and learning at home. They will also help bring the wonder of Wonderopolis to Thinkfinity communities, drawing new voices into the conversation about uncovering learning opportunities in everyday moments.

 

The two Wonder Teachers will share how they bring wonder into their classrooms and will create biweekly wonder videos to be featured in classrooms and on the Thinkfinity website. Working together, the Wonder Families and Wonder Teachers will create a bridge between learning in the classroom and learning at home.

 

Don't miss this amazing opportunity — apply today! http://wonderopolis.org/wonderyear/

 

Please note that both teacher and family applicants should use the same application form; there is a set of educator-specific questions at the end of the form.

 

Please help us spread the word about America's Wonder Year Adventure 2012!

289136_245709212130296_145939628773922_842247_1438517_o.jpgVisit Wonderopolis' Camp What-A-Wonder today and get ready to strut your stuff. We're having a Camp Talent Show!

 

child-singing-loud_shutterstock_75982054-640x385.jpgToday's Wonder of the Day is: How Can a Voice Break Glass? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by hosting your very own talent show at home! Whether it's singing, playing an instrument, doing magic tricks, juggling or even cooking s'mores, you'll be sure to make some memories your children will treasure.

 

Can’t get enough Camp What-A-Wonder? Join us on Twitter tonight!

Wonder Families & Friends! Don't forget to help us bring Camp What-a-Wonder to a close with our TALENT SHOW Campfire Chat on Twitter this Thursday (8/11) from 8-9pm ET! We’ll be sharing and learning about FAMILY-FRIENDLY TALENTS, so be sure to follow the hashtag #WonderChat and join us as we say “goodbye” to summer the Camp What-a-Wonder way!

Duane

Wonderopolis

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