Tag Archives: Smarter Charts

PLC Series: March Round-Up

Welcome the PLC Series March Round Up! This month, we discussed how to tap into the power of visual memory with charts, mind maps, and sketchnotes.



We began our theme with the multi-modal practice of sketchnoting. Author Tanny McGregor honed her own skills and techniques so that she may share the possibilities of this note taking style with teachers. Click the image to visit the post and webinar clip.
Continue reading

PLC Series: Using Charts…Smarter!

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

“No matter what area of the curriculum, we found that clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts were the key to helping children gain independence and agency in their learning. The more we charted, the less repeating we did and more teaching was possible.”          

 -Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli in Smarter Charts for Math,          Science and Social Studies.

Continue reading

What Does Effective Charting Look Like? Learn About Smarter Charts With The Chartchums!

chartchums-top

“Your charts don’t need to be perfect, just thoughtful. You don’t even have to be able to draw. Just put the child before the chart.”

 Marjorie Martinelli and Kristi Mraz

Charts. They are EVERYWHERE! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, charts are an expected norm in most classrooms today. But… what does a great chart look like? What kinds of charts should you use? How many is too many? Where do you display them? How long do you keep them? How do you know if they are working? So many questions.

Well then. Where do you start?

With your students, of course! It is important to use what you know about your students to make powerful, accessible charts that are differentiated based on individual and group needs. With that said, the best place to start is with what your students need, combined with the curriculum, to develop big ideas and explicit teaching points. And no matter what, children need to be active participants in the making of a chart. Enter the Chartchums.

Charts are something most teachers make. Most teachers have made hundreds of charts. Yet the Chartchums (aka Marjorie Martinelli and Kristi Mraz) found that when they did a reading or writing workshop, THEIR CHARTS were the real stars. Over and over they heard teachers say, “You should write a book on charts,” while they snapped photos of the sample charts.

So they did.

Their first book, Smarter Charts, provides the basics of effective charting, including the language of charts (both words and visuals), when to make them, where to put them, how to get kids to use them, and ways to assess their effectiveness. Using tips, checklists, and best practices, Marjorie and Kristi share how to bring charts to life using music, chants, rhymes, and more to truly make charts memorable and fun for all of your students.

They talked to more teachers. What does effective charting look like in math? Social studies? Science? Can you apply what you know about literacy charts to all subject areas? They wrote their second book, Smarter Charts for Math, Science & Social Studies. Continuing the dialogue on chart making that they started in Smarter Charts, Kristi and Marjorie show teachers how to turn complex ideas into kid-friendly visuals, help children internalize content processes, and even increase instructional time. You don’t have to be a subject-matter expert to make learning visible for the students in front of you.

Marjorie and Kristi have developed names and descriptions for different kinds of charts to make it easier to talk about the various pathways of learning and thinking they present to students. In both Smarter Charts books, they describe how each type of chart is made and used, complete with examples, visuals, and reproducibles. Different types of charts serve different purposes in classrooms. You don’t need to have one of each type in your classroom. You might find that you make one type of chart much more frequently than another… and some you don’t make at all. 

A chart is never just a chart. Charts are like billboards for your teaching. No matter what the area of the curriculum, clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts are the key to helping children be more independent, efficient, and flexible in their learning. Packed with full-color sample charts from real classrooms, the Smarter Charts books will help you with tips on design and language, instructional use, and self-assessment. Even better, you will discover strategies that deepen engagement, strengthen retention, and heighten independence—all by involving students in chart making.

A chart is never just a chart.

What’s stopping you from creating jump-off-the-wall charts that stick with kids? You can’t draw? You don’t have to be an artist to make great charts. Really. But it never hurts to see if you can improve on some of the basics, like people and icons. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect, just thoughtful. What matters most is that children are engaged in the process of making the chart.

Not sure what to put on your charts or how to get your students to use charts more independently? Want to learn more? Need some inspiration? Make sure to join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as we break down the different types of charts with handy and helpful visuals from Marjorie (@Marjorie_Writes) and Kristi (@MrazKristine) that will help you turn your classroom charts into teaching powerhouses. You can also visit this post to see a visual recap of the different types of charts.

A Field Guide to Content Charts.

Content 1 Routine FB

Content 2 Genre Concept FB

Content 3 Process FB

Content 4 Repertoire FB

Content 5 Exemplar FB

A Field Guide to Literacy Charts.

Literacy 1 Routine FB Literacy 2 Strategy FB Literacy 3 Process FB Literacy 4 Exemplar FB Literacy 5 Genre FB

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week of May 10–16

imagineitbetter

Welcome to the newest installment in our weekly link series on the Heinemann blog! Every week we find around five interesting links for you to take into your much deserved weekend. These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

⇔⇔⇔

Author Vicki Vinton advocated for an alternate route in determining text complexity for standardized assessments:

The Common Core seems to have ushered in an age where third grade has become the new middle school, middle school is the new high school, and high school is the new college. And that’s all because of the particular vision the Common Core authors have about what it means to be college and career ready.

Click through to read "Toward a Saner View of Text Complexity" on To Make a Prairie

⇔⇔⇔

Kylene Beers revealed the results to a survey she conducted that asked 1,000 teachers, "What reading skills do you most often teach to skilled readers" and, "What reading skills to you most often teach to less skilled readers?"

If kids never have the chance to question the text, then they never learn to question the text. If their teacher doesn’t give them time to learn to question the author or make inferences, they don’t learn to do those things. More worrisome, they perhaps begin to assume that they should not question the text, not question the author, not look for biases, not make inferences.

Click through to read "Who is Taught What?" on Kylene Beers's blog

⇔⇔⇔

Marjorie Martinelli and Kristi Mraz—known in professional circles as The Chartchums—have joined with us to offer online workshops: Chartchums Live! (or as close as we can get).

We planned the course with the hope that it would help teachers deepen children’s engagement with charts by teaching how charts can build independence and agency, communicate information efficiently and effectively, and help in setting and achieving goals.

Click through to learn more from the Chartchums

⇔⇔⇔

On Bright, in the Medium publishing platform, Soraya Shockley of Youth Radio discussed education technology from a student's point of view:

A Teenager’s View on Education Technology

⇔⇔⇔

Patricia Vitale-Reilly, author of Engaging Every Learner, was interviewed on Four O'Clock Faculty:

Check back next week for more interesting links. Do you write a blog about your experiences in education? Leave a link in the comments below and we'll consider it for future round-ups. Have a great weekend!

Introducing the Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week!

imagineitbetter

Welcome to a new series on the Heinemann blog! Every week we find five interesting links for you to take into your much deserved weekend. These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

⇔⇔⇔

At the Two Writing Teachers blog, Betsy Hubbard reviewed Jen Serravallo's newest The Reading Strategies Book:

"The best way I can prepare you for this book is to get sticky notes and highlighters ready, because you will need them to mark up your favorite thoughts and ideas."

—Click through to read "THE READING STRATEGIES BOOK" review by Betsy Hubbard at Two Writing Teachers

⇔⇔⇔

Allison Marchetti—coauthor with Rebekah O'Dell of the forthcoming Writing With Mentors from Heinemann—offered a lesson of empathy and elegiac poetry in her blog:

"Sometimes one of the best ways to comfort students who are feeling low is to honor their feelings of stress, sadness, and melancholy rather than try to distract them or encourage them to stay positive. A study of the elegy — a poem that expresses sorrow or lamentation — can be a way to honor students’ emotions and help them reflect on their feelings in a healthy way while studying some absolutely brilliant poetry."

—Click through to read "A WRITING WORKSHOP CURE FOR THE APRIL DOLDRUMS" by Allison Marchetti at Moving Writers

Rich Czyz of the 4 O'Clock Faculty blog interviewed Lisa Eickholdt, author of Learning From Classmates:

"Not only does using student mentor text encourage the student writer, it also lifts the level of engagement with writing for everyone else in the classroom. I believe this is because when we share great students’ writing, we are sharing text that is more developmentally appropriate than some of the adult models we use. Because the work is developmentally appropriate, it seems attainable to more students. This attainability builds enthusiasm."

—Click through to read "5 QUESTIONS WITH… LISA EICKHOLDT" by Rich Czyz at 4 O’Clock Faculty

Having published her first book with Heinemann this year, Kari Yates continued her prolific and motivating blog at Simply Inspired Teaching:

"Our kids come to us from literally all over the map with vastly different backgrounds, strengths, and past learning opportunities. Our classroom communities are more diverse than ever. Success hinges on our ability to view all students as capable and ready regardless of learning and language differences."

—Click through to read "EVERY STUDENT IS READY FOR THE NEXT STEP—IT JUST MAY NOT BE THE SAME STEP" by Kari Yates at Simply Inspired Teaching

Chartchum Kristi Mraz, coauthor of Smarter Charts, wrote about the challenge of fostering student agency for The Educator Collaborative:

"In teaching kindergarten, I learned that doing something for a child is like providing a stool to stand on, the child is able to reach their goal providing the stool is there."

—Click through to read "EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW (ABOUT TEACHING) I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN (WHILE TEACHING)" by Kristi Mraz at The Educator Collaborative

And one last tweet:

Check back next week for more interesting links. Do you write a blog about your experiences in education? Leave a link in the comments below and we'll consider it for future round-ups. Have a great weekend!

Chart tips from the ChartChums: Part 2 Icons

In Smarter Charts and the brand new Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies, Marjorie Martinelli(@MarjorieWrites) and Kristi Mraz(@MrazKristine) tell us you don’t even have to be able to draw to make great charts.

Even so, we could all use a pointer or two on how to make our charts look better. In these snippets from their forthcoming online course at the Heinemann Digital Campus, the ChartChums demonstrate a couple key drawing moves that can help any teacher who wants to make great charts. In part two we learn about the importance of drawing icons.

 

Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies is out now. For more information and to download a sample chapter click here: Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies sample. 

Join the conversation on Twitter: