the wonder window

wonder windowWhat do you see? What do you wonder? What do you think? These are the questions we ask children as we encourage them to express their theories about their world. (They’re also the questions we ask ourselves as we examine samples of documentation, but that’s another post.) Considering the environment as the third teacher, we decided to use our windows more effectively. On a visit to the Bishop Strachan School last year, I had seen wonderful writing samples based on the children’s observations from their classroom window.  Back in the early spring, we decided to put the windows to better use and introduced the Wonder Window. Transparencies, permanent black markers and of course, the window, made for a perfect provocation to entice the children. There was a lot to see on a rainy day and they made some interesting observations.

wonder window 2“R” noticed all of the shapes the raindrops made – tiny little drops, one long drop, an oval drop, a circle drop, as well as a polka dot raindrop.

O: When the rain comes from the clouds you don’t see when it’s falling. When it’s on the ground you see it. On the ground there are some circle things and it goes from small circles to big circles. I wonder why the trees are moving so hard?

P: I wonder why there’s big puddles because I never saw puddles like that. It looks like a big flood!…I see tiny raindrops and I see some circles around puddles…I wonder how does rain make mud?

wonder window3As the weather changed, so did the materials.  Permanent coloured markers were added and the children were encouraged to record their thinking with pictures and writing. They wrote about flowers blooming, trees “opening,” the sun shining and snails crawling.

I love this time of year.  Not only do we see new blooms and growth outside, we also see it within each of the children. Their writing has gone from a line, to scribbles, to letters, to words.  Each of them are coming into bloom in their own time.



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11 thoughts on “the wonder window

  1. The raindrop observations make me think of the concise, clever text by Terry Jones, ‘Three Raindrops’. In this short story, three raindrops discuss what qualities make a raindrop ‘best’.

  2. Wondering why you use permanent markers rather than overhead/transparency markers. Also, is it clear adhesive contact paper you use? Wonderful!

    • Thanks Maria. I used permanent markers because that’s what I had. Overhead transparency markers would work beautifully, but I would recommend using the permanent ones in order to avoid smudging and any accidental “wipe-offs”. I also just used overhead transparencies and clear tape.

  3. Ah, what a wonderful provocation! I have been wanting to get rid of my desk all year, and now I really want to do so, in order to move the dry rack and free up more wonderful window space. Ours was a bird-watching space for a few months, but it never occurred to me to put out markers to draw those birds right there, on the glass. Thank you for sharing this simple, beautiful idea.

  4. Hi there, I wondered about the transparencies – and the typed text – do you print from computer onto the transparency and add it beneath the pics or take the transparency with drawing off and print directly onto that from the computer? sorry, I can’t quite work out how you did it though I like the idea.

  5. I am thinking this might be a good use for the leftovers from laminating….I collect all the long strips that others throw away.

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