Back in October, EdGeeks discussed the importance of posters and charts for students in the article: Create a Poster…or a few. Charts and posters play a crucial role in student progress in a few ways:
- They offer a visual to support modeling while the child is learning
- They can act as a reminder and/or reinforcer while students are doing independent work
- They can act as a reference for students after the lesson or unit end
Today, I want to share one amazing tool that my friend and colleague uses in her classroom. I have always loved it and if I were in the classroom right now, I would have one for every subject area. It is brilliant!
The Giant Notebook Page
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This is exactly what it looks like…a poster-sized sheet of looseleaf paper. Simple! You can laminate it and use it over and over again if you use dry-erase markers.
What Problems Can This Poster Solve (In the Classroom and at Home)? This poster can act as a teaching tool in many different areas (see below for more specific examples). It is a great way to differentiate for students who may need visual support and more guidance through the note-taking process. It can also support students who struggle with neatness and organization. Too often, we assume that things like writing on looseleaf paper or keeping an organized binder or journal are innate. These skills must be taught and modeled and this is the perfect tool to do so. Families, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes teachers do not teach these skills as part of the curriculum. If you notice that your child struggling with any of the issues above, get one of these posters and work together at home! This is one of those things that you don’t need to be a teacher to teach:)
How To Use This Poster: The first time I saw my friend use this poster as a teaching tool, I was amazed. It seemed like the solution to quite a few problems! She wrote on the poster and then said, “Okay everyone, now make your page look like my page,” and just like that the class was ready to write! As always there are many different ways to use this poster as a tool, but here are some tips:
- Use the phrase, “make your page look like my page,” because it is short and clear.
- Always write a fresh heading at the start of your lesson, so you are reminding students to write their own heading through modeling.
- Give clear, verbal instructions such as “skip a line” or “indent.”
- Teach a lesson on how to use looseleaf accurately as it does not come naturally to most students. Be sure to include how to use the margins and which direction to hold it.
- Do “notebook checks” or “folder checks” to hold students accountable for their organization. I always like to use a rubric for checks like this.
Use This Poster to Teach…
- Note-taking skills
- Keeping an organized binder
- Students how to make their own graphic organizer
- Students how to make their own charts and diagrams
- Writing a heading
- Neatness and organizational skills
- Writing a letter
- Indenting when writing a paragraph
- And much, much more…