Monday, February 21, 2011


I read a book recently that got me thinking and looking at things a bit differently. The book was by Steve Wozniak, who was one of the founders of Apple Computer. When Wozniak (everyone calls him "Woz") was a boy, he would wonder how things worked, and as a teenager he would even take them apart, to find out! In the book he described how he took apart light fixtures, and telephones, to see how they worked. 

And I realized that, as a child, I had never stopped to think about how a light fixture, or a telephone worked. "How odd!" I thought, and I wondered... why not?

Well, as Woz himself points out in his book, his father was an engineer, and talked about how things worked all the time, so the young boy grew up in a world where people thought about those kinds of things. On the other hand, my father was an economist, and he didn't talk about his work at home much. But, our house was full of very interesting books, and my father would read stories to me when I was little, and I grew up loving to read!

So, while Woz and his father were dismantling things, I was reading all kinds of exciting tales of adventure! Woz wondered, "how does that work?" and I wondered, "what will happen next?"

And that got me thinking... To some extent, the things we wonder about as children depend on what we are exposed to. So, perhaps there would be some way to bring those different influences together in the classroom, so that the children could hear what the other children wonder about! Maybe this will spark some new curiosities they hadn't had before.

As you know, we have been in the habit of reading a story to the children, or simply having a chat about our day, at the end of the day before we all go home. So, one day a week (Friday), before we go home, we will make our chat be about things we wonder about!

The children already know about this, because we introduced the idea, and asked the children to start thinking what they wonder about. They already have plenty of things they wonder about! For example,

- what is inside my body?
- who made the first airplane?
- how did George Lucas think of Darth Vader?
- why is it cold in the freezer?
- why do we have velcro if we already had shoelaces?  

Our purpose will not be to get into science (or the creative fiction process), but just to talk about these things enough to introduce the idea of thinking about them, and introduce the idea that it is possible to research the answers. 

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