Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Power of Awe, Fascination, and Wonder : Part II

Back in November I wrote a post about The Power of Positive Emotions and Engagement in the classroom. I discussed how I would use a photo each day to inspire awe and wonder in my kindergarten kids, primarily to promote positive emotions in the classroom, which many researchers claim leads to more engaged learning. I also promised to post a picture of the "Inspiration Board, so here it is! ( yes, better late than never!)
I often see kids gazing at this board, conveniently positioned by the sink/drinking fountain, pondering what it would be like to be one of these animals. It's a great positive distraction space when someone is having a tough time letting go of a negative experience on the playground or even a difficult beginning at home that morning.
As a follow-up, I am incorporating this board with the themes we are studying in Language Arts. For example, during our theme "Wheels go Around" I showed kids, via my projector and laptop, pictures of different awe-inspiring vehicles and items with wheels. I did not print these pictures, unfortunately, because I frankly have used tons of ink at home.  In the future, for our upcoming "World of Animals" theme, I plan to announce via my class blog that kids are welcome to bring in inspiring pictures to share via the document camera and then for posting to the board. I also plan to have the students write "speech bubbles" or "captions" for the pictures. It will be fun to see what they write in response to pictures they can choose to respond to.
What strategies do you use to inspire awe, fascination and wonder in the classroom? Do you think it's worth the time spent to consciously create a positive classroom environment? 

No comments: