I do not like saying that I am not an artist in front of my kids...I guess deep inside (really deep) I believe that even though I can only draw stick people decently, I am an artist at heart!
Chart Sense by Linder
Author: Rozlyn LinderPaperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Literacy Initiative, The (February 2, 2014)
Available thru Amazon
I came across this book (and I believe I was a victim of Amazon's marketing strategies) as I was checking out the book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst. This came up as a suggested title, and well, two clicks later...it was mine.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you may already know that I LOVE anchor charts. I strongly believe they are helpful in the classroom as students can refer to them as often as needed. When used and created intentionally (with a purpose in mind), they are a really valuable tool (I have a problem with charts that simply decorate...a.k.a store bought just because they are cute).
When I go thru Pinterest to find some inspiration, I am often left without much breath as I explore the extremely beautiful charts - full of color, artistic illustrations, magnificent fonts...you name it. To be honest, I have come a long way and my charts are somewhat decent nowadays, still I have ways to go.
As I received Chart Sense, I was amazed at how easy it was to read the book. Simple lessons were suggested for EACH anchor chart and more importantly: the charts were REALLY USER FRIENDLY (easy to make, to read, & to use them in the classroom). But wait...it gets even better. The book is divided into chapters and each chapter addresses one of the 9 anchor strands under the Common Core.
For example, under standards 1"CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text" the author offers plenty of child-friendly examples free of fluffiness (if you like fluffy...go for it). Do not expect rainbows or unicorns, rather 'no no-sense' charts full of graphics that aid readers to better understand what is being explained.
Take inference for example, there are over 5 charts on this skill alone. You can use them all, scaffold, or pick and choose. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and read. Again, each chart comes with suggestions as to how to introduce the chart and even extended activities to further "squeeze the juice out of them."
I give this book 5 starts for practicality, visuals, and ready-to-use approaches. Remember, no - I am not compensated in any shape or form if you buy the book. If you can borrow it from a friend...go ahead and enjoy it.
So...how are your anchor charts? Do you create them with your students or make them ahead of time? Where do you get your ideas from?
*The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own. I have not been compensated by anyone including the publisher or any other distribution channel.