This Just In!Posted: September 9, 2011
We are pleased to present the first of (hopefully) many charts from ACTUAL classrooms. This one is from the fabulous Erik Anderson of Blaine Elementary School in Seattle. First a word about Erik, Erik is an intuitive, generous, kind, and brilliant second grade teacher. There is much to be impressed by when you talk with him, or watch him interact with children. One of the things that always strikes me is the depth of knowledge he has about each child: their likes and dislikes, family, friends, things big and small. His students adore him, and his teaching is impeccably matched to the faces in front of him. His thoughtfulness and knowledge about the specific children he has this year pop out in this chart.
Shall we look a little closer at the amazing things Erik has done?
First, the heading is clear practical and easy for children to understand. What should I do when I finish my book? Children can independently, and easily, determine if they need to use this chart. As a matter of fact, it answers a question echoing in classrooms across America, “I’m done, now what?”
Second, this chart has options! This is a great example of a repertoire chart in that there is one big idea (you can do things with your book even when you finish reading it) and several options: reread it, quiz yourself, and storytell it. Children can all achieve the big idea in a way that matches who they are as reader. This is a nice example of Erik’s thoughtfulness about who is in his class, he has drama bugs who will want to act out, and competitive spirits who want to challenge themselves to see what they remember. You can imagine how Erik could add even more choices over time!
Third, look at those illustrations! Engaging, show some internal thinking, capture a big concept in a few simple lines- a great way for children at all reading levels to independently access the chart.
And the last thing that we will mention, though we could go on and on and on, is the lovely little addition of WHY! Too often we say what to do, but we don’t give reasons. This chart, in simple second grade friendly language, gives reasons why I might decide to storytell it or quiz myself. So smart!
Drop a comment here to share your love of Erik’s chart, and send your own charts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are trying to stay seasonal, so we have a few charts on hold to show later in the year. Now we are looking to showcase beginning of the year type charts!
As always, happy charting!