Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Year of Wonder - A New Project and Book

A fifth grader conducting some research.
I am super excited to announce that I am beginning an in-school project with fourth and fifth graders, their ESL teacher, Jazleen Othman, and their principal, Sylvia Esteves from Park Elementary School in Newark, NJ that will result in a book proposal and hopefully a completed book (tentative title: A Year of Wonder: Composing Disciplinary Knowledge through Engagements with Text). The project aims to increase and complicate children's disciplinary knowledge through engagements (think multimodal) with read aloud and independent texts that are consumed and produced.  For some time I have been designing collections of read aloud texts that are coupled together based on important theories, such as evolution.  I am wondering what might happen if the read aloud selections and engagements across a school year were strategically determined and negotiated based on a desire to develop and complicate disciplinary knowledge by dwelling in wonder.

For the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of learning with Ms. Othman and her fabulous fourth and fifth grade children who are so very bright and curious. The children, Ms. Othman and Ms. Esteves have expressed interest in the project and so we are underway and have begun to document what we are doing, learning and unlearning.  During the next few months it is my intention to report via this blog on what we are learning/unlearning as we make our way.  I plan to include multi-voiced and multiple narrative accounts authored by Ms. Othman, Ms. Esteves, the children, myself and perhaps others who at this time I have not identified (yet).

I'll keep you posted.
A student with Ms. Othman.


I was thrilled to learn that Ms. Othman and her children have dedicated the one window in the classroom as a window of wonder where learners can peer out, taking time to wonder, observe, question, see and so on...without an imposed agenda.  A small and important start.


  1. Sounds incredible! Looking forward to hearing more ...

    1. I am thinking that this may be the work I share with your class in January.

  2. This sounds like such a fantastic project!

  3. You continue to amaze and inspire me. You've changed my life.

  4. Can't wait... sounds like a great opportunity and love the idea "window of wonder"


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