Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Power of Charts in Read Aloud

I believe it is critical for teachers to create charts in the classroom to record thinking and strategies so students have a visual to use as a model when working independently.  I absolutely love creating charts during read aloud and get excited organizing them in different ways, using a variety of colors, formats, etc.  Since I get so excited about creating and using charts, my enthusiasm transfers over to the students and they get actively engaged in using them.
Creating charts allows us to teach ways to write about reading during read aloud by modeling how to create charts and jot down thinking in an organized and meaningful way.  Students are then able to transfer these writing about reading strategies into their own reader’s notebooks. 

When we begin a new read aloud, we take the time as a class to make some decisions together in how we want to organize our class chart for the read aloud and how they want to organize their own notebook pages for the current read aloud. This not only gives students the sense of purpose, but also encourages them to be reflective by thinking of all the strategies they know to determine which ones would be best to use for this read aloud. 

When students share ideas that I write on the chart, I always make an effort to write their names next to their thinking to honor them.  If I forget to add their name, they always remind me! :) This shows me that it means a lot to them to be honored for their thinking and to have their ideas highlighted for the class to see. 

Charts make abstract ideas visible and are effective ways to leave tracks of instruction throughout the classroom and provide students with a constant reminder of our work as readers and writers. 


Happy Reading and Writing! :)


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