Whybricks Supporting Resources
Each But, Why? Whybricks investigation is intended to be student-centred and led. With the exception of the teacher guides, the educational materials are all ‘student materials’ and are designed for independent use by students.
There are three types of interrelated printable student materials:
• Notice and Wonder sheets
• WOW sheets
The core of each But, Why? Whybricks investigation is its Whysheet. Much more than a worksheet, a Whysheet is the students’ (and educators’) guide for the investigation.
Every Whysheet starts with the ‘why’ question the investigation is centred around. Students answer the question to the best of their ability, drawing on what they already know. The goal isn’t to get it ‘right’ but to codify what they already understand and, over time, get them to think about what they don’t understand as well.
The Whysheet will then walk the students through the investigation step-by-step.
Any WOW sheets related to the investigation will be referenced in the Whysheet as will suggestions for when to use the Notice and Wonder sheets. If there is a set Whybricks build, step-by-step build instructions will also be included as an appendix to the Whysheet. You can also encourage students to improve on the set builds, further exploring and applying aspects of physical science and engineering.
The Whysheets, along with the Notice and Wonder sheets, are designed to capture learning evidence as it happens during the investigation, rather than be a ‘now that you have finished everything, write in the correct answer’ style worksheet. Encouraging students to view the Whysheet as their tool to help them through the investigation will help them take ownership over their learning.
Notice and Wonder sheets
The Notice and Wonder sheets are templates designed to work alongside any But, Why? investigation. These sheets offer places for students to note observations ‘I notice …’ and capture questions ‘I wonder …’ throughout the investigation. The Whysheets will indicate key opportunities in an investigation when students will benefit from making notes in a Notice or Wonder sheet, but students should feel free to use these sheets throughout their learning journey, especially for capturing new questions they begin to wonder about as they progress.
Along with the Whysheet, the Notice and Wonder sheets form an important part of capturing learning evidence and empowering student agency in each investigation. All of the Notice and Wonder sheets serve the same purpose, but different versions are available to offer educators flexibility in adapting these to their students’ needs.
The Notice and Wonder sheet set includes an educator’s overview and recommendation section with additional information.
The WOW in the WOW sheets stand for ‘Why? Oh, Whoa!’.
WOW sheets are a way of inserting teaching into an investigation flexibly. For example, you might choose to provide copies of the WOW sheets for students to read in-depth or just reference to find the answers they need. You can also replace WOW sheets with your own lecture or other fact-delivery method on the topic, explaining and exploring as deeply as you see fit.
These sheets are basically reference cards. Each WOW sheet contains information about a specific topic or fact. The WOW sheets help students to discover and understand key information, enabling them to apply what they learn back into the investigation. Examples of the content covered in WOW sheets includes definitions of terms (e.g. ‘What is mass?’), explanations of facts (e.g. Newton’s third law) and formulas in context (e.g. calculating acceleration, part of the ‘What is acceleration?’ WOW sheet).
WOW sheets can be used in several ways. You can use them to help guide class-wide explanation sessions or allow students to access them independently when and if they need the information. The WOW sheets can introduce concepts, serve as quick ‘refresher’ reference cards or be used retrospectively to demonstrate broader applications of elements encountered inside an investigation.
The Whysheets will indicate key moments in an investigation when students may benefit from using a specific WOW sheet. You may also find it helpful to have the WOW sheets available for students to access at any time.