Every year I create the same anchor charts for my classroom. I sometimes think I won’t need them, but inevitably I do. These were created over the past 4 weeks of school.
This is how they pack up to go home. I have them pack up about 30 minutes before they leave for the day. This helps keep the last minute out-the-door frenzy down.
I feel the students need an organized work place. This allows them to quickly find their materials. Having their work materials organized is a life-long skill, plus loose papers drive me BATTY!
I hesitate before posting this chart. I posted this chart last year and I guess it was a little controversial First some else copied this chart and blogged about it. For once, I was glad they did not give me credit for the idea…ha, because it caused some backlash.
Here is the deal and my 2 cents.
Colors that make sense: I want my students to complete their work with care and thought.
I do ask my students to color their work with colors that make sense. Now, if my student wants to color their tree a different color, that is fine, but they must do so WITH a purpose. I feel it is important to question your child’s color choice (not judge). When I see a colors used that doesn’t seem right, I ask, “Tell me why you chose this color.” Sometimes sisters do have blue hair and sometimes families do have red faces (especially after a trip to Florida)!
One of my smart friends also pointed out that color blindness could also be a factor. According to what I know, about 7% of boys will have some form of color blindness, where less than .5 of girls will. So the tone of my questioning is important. You must be a good kid watcher and listener.
However, more times than not, the issue is the “rush to finish” that is behind the entire illustration colored in bright yellow-green, than the inability to distinguish colors. I love the creativity… TRUE STORY: I was looking over an illustration where a boy colored his entire illustration purple. He told me it was a picture of him building a snowman. Hmm? So I asked, “Why did you chose this color?” He had that deer-in-the-headlights look, then said, “Because we sprinkled grape Kool-Aide all over him.” I will take that! However, in my conferring notebook I jotted down, “? color choices” so I could watch and guide him over the next few days.
Staying in the lines: Coloring is a fine motor skill. I understand that. However, the expectation is their fine motor skills should improve as the year continues. I am not a big “handwriting” drill and kill teacher. I do know that students can improve their fine motor skills through coloring. I feel it is a disservice to accept anything less than your student’s best. Student A’s best might be different than student B’s. I praise ALL of my student’s best efforts.
No white space: I have had students who rush through an activity and “color the bear” with three swipes of their crayon. Sorry… I don’t accept it. I tell my kiddos that coloring helps their little muscles. These are the same little muscles they need to write with. So coloring the whole space helps to build those importing writing muscles.
When I find great exemplars of student work, it goes to the “All Star Paper” wall. Students work hard to do their best (and I love them for it). I make sure that each child has multiple turns on the “All Star Paper” wall.
That’s it! Love it? Hate it? I would like to know!