For anyone who knows me, you know I LOVE creating charts with the students for every subject, write their name next to their contribution, and hang them up in our classroom so they can reference them throughout our unit. When some colleagues enter my classroom, they question why I hang the charts up and say, "You really think they use them?" I always defend my purpose and confidently respond with a YES! Yes, my students use them because they help create them and I write their name next to their contribution too! Even with my confident response, the look on their face tells me they still don't believe me and don't think the students use the charts at all.
Well…last week, my students were planning for their literary essay for the end of unit assessment and as they were working, one student raised her hand and asked, "Where's the chart that we made that has all of our abbreviations we created for the important parts in a text?"
Notice the key words in her question are, "We and Our". They feel ownership for these charts! Immediately the students started chiming in and asked, "Yea where is that chart? I keep looking for it and it isn't hanging up where it should be."
Another student asked, "And where is that chart that has the possible thesis statements that we wrote together?"
These charts were still on our chart stand that we referred to during lessons, but I forgot to hang them up and they noticed!! This proves that students do in fact use the charts in our classrooms if they feel ownership in helping to create them. Since my students help create all of our charts by contributing their thinking and I always write their name next to their contribution, they remember these charts and use them. So to anyone out there who questions my purpose for creating charts and hanging them up in our classroom, now you know why - my kids use them and they find them helpful! :)
Below are some of the many charts we created together during our short text/literary essay unit that students referred to and used while planning and writing essays throughout the unit:
Happy Charting! :)