Saturday, October 6, 2012

WONDERblog Tour

I am writing this blog post as a participant in the WONDERblog Tour, a collaboration with David Etkin and Lauren Donovan from Random House Children's Books.  We started reading Wonder in early September, and I'm overwhelmed with the way the kids are responding to it.  One of the first things I did was gather as many copies as I could from our wonderful Cincinnati Public Library and make them available to parents.  They were snapped up immediately!  It's been fun to get e-mails from parents as they read, cry over, react to, and finish the book.  I love thinking about my students and their families talking about Wonder around kitchen tables and counters, in cars on the way to school and soccer practices, and on our classroom blog.  Oh, the power of books!

Here was my very first classroom blog post:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Talking about Wonder

Welcome to our first class blog about our read aloud, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio! I'll be posting here several days a week to tell you what chapter we're on, and what we're thinking, writing about, and discussing. Please post comments to the blog about what YOU'RE thinking while listening, if you're a student, and what you thought when you read these chapters, if you're a parent or part of school staff. The more participants, the merrier!
Monday, September 10th: JFB has read through the chapter "Jack Will, Julian, and Charlotte," and SLE and KME are on the chapter, "Locks."
We've talked about Julian and what kind of person he is. We also discussed predictions about what Auggie's first day is going to be like. We've discussed Auggie's parents and Via a bit, too, and how they deal with Auggie's disorder. We're going to be talking about empathy and what happens when we read about characters that may be very different from us. How will feeling empathy toward Auggie affect how we relate to real people who may be different?
What are your thoughts about the characters we've been introduced to so far? How are you feeling about Auggie going to school? What would it be like to be his parents or his sibling?
We got 26 comments on that post!
It's been fun to have conversations with students and parents using our blog, Reading with Mrs. Mueller.
We've created a whole empathy unit around Wonder, reading other titles that feature characters who are different and must overcome obstacles to accept who they are and ultimately create community.  This has created a great opportunity to make text to text connections.
Here are some books we read as companion books to Wonder (from top, Anything But Typical by
by Nora Raleigh Baskin, Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass, Rules by Cynthia Lord, and Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper):


We also wrote precepts inspired by Mr. Browne:

We're continuing to have discussions about point of view, how Palacio creates such real characters, text to world connections about bullying, and friendship.  One of my favorite things to hear is "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" when I say "I'm going to stop there for today."  I just love how connected kids are to the story.  As we finish the last half of the novel, we hope to Skype other classes about Wonder and would ultimately LOVE to Skype R.J. Palacio.  Thank you David Etkin and Lauren Donovan, for bringing us together to collaborate on this amazing book!  I've gotten great ideas from reading other posts and will incorporate them into my plans.


  1. Thanks for sharing this post! Your students have read some great companion books to Wonder. Out of My Mind is my favorite, but Rules and Anything But Typical are great ones, too!