Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wonder Table

So this magical thing happened, totally by accident, and it has been glorious.  A child visited Connecticut and brought back Buckeyes and fall leaves.  You see in Florida we don't see much fall.  Leaves that are yellow, red and orange are way cooler than green and brown.  I said, "Let's put it on this table so others can check it out."

And that's how the Wonder Table began...but the name came a few days later.

It was also serendipity that I am in a book study reading A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades by Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough.  As I was reading, I came across their idea for a Discovery Table and I knew we would keep it.   (If you are a primary teacher, this is a good read!)

It's really simple.  Pick a spot, put a couple tools out (forceps, magnifying glass, measuring tape, etc.), and then tell the kids to bring treasures in.  BOOM! that's it.

 Here is what our table looked like this morning.  We have our tools to the left, a Betta fish, snake skins, dragonfly, exoskeleton of a crab, shells, leaves, buckeyes, reptile skin, sea glass, soil samples, and slides for a microscope.  Above is our bread experiment to see if washing hands matters.



Close-up of snake skins, exoskeleton, leaves, and shells.  One child even found a paperclip that they had never seen before...so magical.

Leaves, soil samples, buckeyes, acorns, reptile skin, and slides

 Simple, right?!

 I bought each child a small notebook.  Our wonder notebooks were born!  I found them at Target in the party aisle.

Some of the wonderings are based off the Wonder Table.  Others like this one are based off interest.

This question was based off the table.  She found out about the diets of snakes, reptiles and dragonflies and was still feeling curious.

The benefits of the Wonder Table are:
*Easy way to bring in science topics
*Creates eagerness 
*Teaches students to appreciate the small things in life
*Gets students to independently ask and answer questions on their own
*Creates a scientist mentality in all students
*Lets students share without having Show and Tell

To keep the table fresh I am going to add books that relate to topics and put out different items for each unit.  Some ideas are paintings, poetry, globe, flashlights, magazines, nature items, etc.

So that's it.  A huge impact in our classroom happened by chance but that's how these things go.


  1. Hi ,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is: 



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!


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