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A Visit to the WonderLab

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Into the WonderLab file the first grade goats. Dr. Wonderpuff, teacher Tracy Camp-Johnston’s alter ego, settles her charges onto the familiar carpet and begins the greeting process and reminders of WonderLab expectations before commencing her ‘Whoooo knows?’ activity with Van, the (stuffed animal) owl.

Today the students are recalling the three types of rocks they recently have learned about, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic, extending their study of the earth’s plates and the rock cycle. This inquiry links to the first graders' ongoing studies of volcanoes. They are ready with accurate information and are especially enthused about igneous rocks, of course, because igneous rocks are formed by cooling lava!

In a few minutes class members are invited to choose where they’d like to be for the Wander and Wonder segment of class, and off they go. Students have been learning about how people and animals use their senses for survival and vitally important needs. Wander and Wonder time includes several sound-based games and activities, with a rock ‘sort and classify’ station with samples that students themselves have found on campus, along with sand and water and magnifying glass sensory stations.

The class next returns to the carpet and circle to read a book about hearing and, in a wonderful bit of personal sharing, a classmate explains her hearing aids and offers to be interviewed by her classmates!

The class keeps moving and exploring and learning. In the final Road to Discovery time students add labels and illustrations to their Science Journals of the three types of rocks they’ve been studying, complete with their own self-devised symbols to help them remember how different rocks are formed!

The students file out of the WonderLab looking forward to their next visit and the dynamic learning experiences that await. Thanks to our parent-donors who have made this year’s pilot of the WonderLab possible! And, of course, a very special thanks to Tracy Camp-Johnston, whose imagination has animated this new opportunity. We’re happy to announce that we plan to continue to offer the WonderLab next year to JK through first grade students!