1-2-3 WONDER –> #WONDERblogTour Project

Where does an idea start? And once rolling, how does a grain of sand gain mass?

The idea of having a group of teachers talking and sharing ideas about RJ Palacio’s Wonder started with Colby Sharp’s Book Club on July 17. Most of us had read Wonderand blogged about it one way or another (here is my original post; and my Skyping with RJ Palacio post). During that Twitter conversation, Deb Tyo (@ChocolateAir) and I Tweeted back and forth about how cool it would be if all the teachers reading Wonder could partner with one another during the school year. And from that: #WONDERschools.

It was just a hashtag at first—until Deb Tweeted me near the summer’s end and said something along the lines of, “Dude—are you going to start that WONDERschools sign up, or what?”

I considered, Me? I’m nobody. Who’s going to follow something I start? I’m no SharpHankinsMillerSchuScopesDavis. This could fall flat and flame out. But then I channeled my inner August and remembered: Fortune favors the Bold!

So I pressed on. I made the #WONDERschools page on my blog, created a logo, and made my first ever Google Form.

Those grains of sand I mentioned? They gained mass and were glued together by a powerful and meaningful novel. Our Wonder. And now…119 teachers and librarians have signed up and put their contact information out there as a way to collaborate. And collaboration led to our little project we call 1-2-3 WONDER.

Sherry Gick (@LibraryFanatic) from Indiana, Reilly Posey (@PolkaDotOwlBlog) from Baltimore, and me (@DavidAEtkin) from Buffalo-ish, New York, teamed up on this project that was for each of our individual classes, but was also compiled into a master product. Simply put, we posed questions that needed to be answered in 1 word, 2 words, or 3 words. (These questions were decided upon after a monster brainstorming session on a very scattered and colorful GoogleDoc). Students worked in partnerships or trios to come to a consensus and write their answers on dry-erase boards. They then posed for pictures. Finally, we asked all students, “In what area of your life do you need to work harder to chooseKIND?”

And for the first time ever in public, I reveal to you my classes’

1-2-3 WONDER project:


            But don’t stop there. Please visit Sherry’s 1-2-3 WONDER Video and Reilly’s 1-2-3 WONDER video.

And then watch our cumulative video below.

I have so much to say about Wonder. I’ve been “living” with the book for about nine months now. It’s interesting how it keeps deepening and I keep connecting life events to it. I will post about it again in the near future–another post for another day.

There are many more #WONDERschools milestones out there, such as:

At a more grassroots level, educators started a Twitter conversation under the hashtag #WONDERschools, to share ideas and resources as they experience the book with their students. The idea became so popular that Amherst, N.Y. teacher David Etkin created the #WONDERschools Web site, with more than 100 educators participating.

Congratulations, fellow #WONDERschools: You are part of a grassroots campaign.

  • Working with Lauren Donovan to devise a blog tour. It was cool to speak with her on the phone and brainstorm the possibilities. 44 bloggers signed up! WOW! Read Lauren’s open letter to all #WONDERschoolers on the blog.

¨     Seeing my #WONDERschools logo pop up in random places and blogs. Always a thrill—and humbling. I’m glad that such a powerful, deserving book has garnered such a following.

15 thoughts on “1-2-3 WONDER –> #WONDERblogTour Project

  1. I’m just running across this and am thrilled! This will be perfect. We’re just finishing our study of Wonder. I’m so excited to do this with my students and hope to have permission to make our own video.

  2. Pingback: 10.12 {BookFlix Friday} and chooseKIND | {Eat the Book}

  3. David – I love that you used a precept to get this all up and running. I’ve loved it, and what’s even more wonderful is that it will continue to inspire as teachers hear about Wonder and want ideas (there are still lots of educators out there who have yet to hear about it.) I’m giving a presentation in my district in Nov. and Wonder will definitely be a part of it – so will #WONDERschools! I’m also going to try the Animoto video idea. Again – THANK YOU for being BOLD!

  4. Dude–You did it. Congrats! So glad #WONDERschools gained the momentum needed to connect teachers, students, classrooms… Truly a wonder what we can do when we collaborate. Hail Hail to our PLN. Hail Hail to #thewonderofwonder !

    • What a unique turn of events, eh? Amazing how it all snowballed and came together. What a thrill. I hope it’s not over yet. There is still so much potential.

      Thanks for pushing me. And thanks for stopping by the blog.

  5. Thank you for creating #WonderSchools. Your idea has given my school’s Wonder Blog and my librarian blog a reason for being. I can’t wait to find out who the winner for the Author Skype is! Nice work David E. Thank you for all the time and energy, love and guts you put into this project.

    • That is a list kind quote. I hope people continue sharing ideas even after the official blog tour is over. We have so much to learn from one another. Thanks for getting involved.

    • Yea! Glad you found it interesting. If I had one class I would have had 1/3 of the class answer each question individually.

      Animoto is EASY. Make an EDUCATORS acct and get going. Ask if you need help 🙂

  6. I’m glad you started WONDERschools! You’re doing great things. Be proud and continue to choose kind. Collaborating across the miles is fun and will not be our last project together!

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