Notice and Wonder

Support students to enter the content by engaging in the I Notice/I Wonder protocol
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About This Strategy

The Notice and Wonder routine supports your students to to enter the content and activate knowledge in a low-stakes way. Students observe or read about a new concept and discuss or write about what they notice about that image or text and what they wonder about that image or text. By engaging in this activity, your students may become engaged with the content before delving deeper.

Plan It

Prior to implementing this routine, it is important that you strategically plan for implementation by completing the following:

  1. Determine what "I Notice, I Wonder" looks like in your content.
    • Review the use cases below for additional ideas.
  2. Determine how you will use this routine in your class. 
    • This routine is a great warm up and can support students to access the content. 
    • Will students complete a graphic organizer or engage in discussion?
  3. Create or determine the content you will use this routine with.
  4. Create sentence stems as a support, if needed.
    • For example:

      1. "I see/read __________, so I predict we might learn about ________."

      2. "I see/read _________, so I wonder___________."

Practice It

10 minutes

Now that you have reviewed the activity and routine or created one, it is time to implement it with students.  

  1. Introduce students to the instructional routine, Notice and Wonder.

    • Model for students what it means to notice and what it means to wonder.

  2. Display a video, image, text, story problem, etc. that aligns to the lesson and have students review it.

  3. Have your students review the image, text, story problem, text, etc. and think about what they notice and what they wonder.

    • Consider having students complete a graphic organizer or to engage in discussion.

      • There is an example graphic organizer linked in the resource section below.

      • For students who are not able to write, encourage students to draw a picture and label it

  4. Use the responses to have a discussion to launch the lesson and/or to begin delving deeper into the content.

Reflect and Refine

After you begin implementing this routine, consider the following:

  • What went well? What was challenging? 
  • Did this routine your support students to activate knowledge and/or access the content?
  • What additional supports should you include during the next round?

After engaging in reflection, determine any changes and go through the planning and implementation steps again. 

I Notice/I Wonder in Math

The "I Notice/I Wonder" routine can be used in math to support students to activate knowledge prior to delving into higher-level thinking tasks. 

Implementation steps:

  1. Find or create an image or expression that aligns to the mathematical content. 

    • For example, you may show graphs, images of shapes, an image, etc.

  2. Display the visual and ask students what they notice and wonder. 

    • If this is the first time students are engaging in this routine, model this routine for students through a think aloud.

    • You may ask students to complete a note catcher prior to engaging in discussion.

  3. When students are ready, have them give you a visual cue to signal completion.

  4. Have students share out one thing they noticed/wondered.

  5. As students engage in the discussion ask students to agree/disagree and record their results on the board.

    • If the image or mathematical expression is projected, try recording what students are sharing near the image/mathematical expression when appropriate.

  6. Use this to launch your lesson and make connections to the math.

Open Up Resources Math

The Open Up Resources Math curriculum uses the I Notice/I Wonder strategy in warm ups. This routine encourages your students to look at media or mathematical representations to think about what they notice and wonder. These warm-ups can help students activate knowledge and become engaged before delving into higher-level thinking tasks. Prior to beginning, review the examples located in the resource section below. You will need a to create a free login to access these resources.

K-5 Illustrative Mathematics

I Notice/I Wonder is an instructional routine in the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum that is used to invite students to the task and to activate knowledge. Prior to beginning, review the overview of this routine and specific examples located in the resource section below. You will need a to create a free login to access these resources.

I Notice/I Wonder in EL Education or ELA

The EL education curriculum believes deeply in giving students time to making meaning on their own. Tools like the I Notice/I Wonder note-catcher boost inquiry so students can experience productive struggle with new content. To level the playing field, using a tool like the note-catcher provides all students with think time so that discussions can honor and acknowledge all children's voices, not just those who speak up. The I Notice/I Wonder note-catcher can be used to make observations about a text or picture, a set of characters, literary elements across a text,  to find patterns in vocabulary, and activate prior knowledge.

Implementation steps:

  • Create an I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher. Distribute to students.

  • If you want students to notice characterization of a protagonist, find a selection from the text rich with character development. If the selection is important to the development of more than one character, you could assign half of the group one character and half of the group the other character. The selection could be a first read or a re-read.

  • Give students time to read through the section and determine a few things they notice and a few things they wonder about their assigned (or chosen) character. They should record these in their Note Catcher.

  • When students are ready, have them give you a visual cue to signal completion.

  • Have students discuss what they noticed and wondered with a partner.

  • Have students engage in a class discussion about what they noticed and wondered.

  • As students engage in the discussion ask students to agree/disagree and record their results on the board.

  • Consider asking students to use the list of noticings and wonderings about the characters as they continue to read. Students can make notes about the impact of the development on the story or notice if the character further changes.

To see this protocol in a lesson, click on the resources below.

Special Education Modification

This strategy can support students to enter the content in a low-stakes way. To support students consider the following modifications:

  • Allow students to draw pictures rather than write in the chart if needed.

  • Frequently model and think aloud to support students to understand the meaning behind notice and wonder and to see “the thought process.”

  • Consider providing students with sentence stems. See the EL Education resource below for specific ideas within a given lesson.

  • Provide small group support to students who need help walking through this task.

Suggested Tech Tools

Google Docs

  • Google Docs supports this strategy by enabling students to complete their I Notice, I Wonder Note Catcher digitally. In addition, students could collaborate on the Note Catcher or comment through this digital tool.

Padlet

  • Padlet supports this strategy by enabling students to complete their I Notice, I Wonder Note Catcher digitally. In addition, students could collaborate on the Note Catcher or comment through this digital tool.

BetterLesson Lessons

If you'd like to learn more about implementing this routine, review the lessons below.