Are you always looking for creative ways to use activities students are familiar with? With how much students learn in a year, it makes complete sense to do so! Since the focus is on academics, teachers do not want to overwhelm students with too many changes. Likewise, teachers do not want to spend more time explaining new directions than students spend on the content. So, they bring in items students are familiar with, such as graphic organizers, and embed them into amazing lessons. Thankfully, there are so many unique ways to use graphic organizers!
#1: Interactive Read Aloud
Students love listening to their teacher read! By adding in graphic organizers, students are working on listening skills, comprehension, and various literary elements. Before reading, I like to go over the selected chart and focus. Then, students can fill out the chart while listening. Or, the teacher can pause and allow students time to discuss and fill out before continuing. This is such a great way to check for understanding!
#2: Differentiated Homework with Graphic Organizers
Are reading logs at home frustrating for you and your students? For instance, do they forget the needed signature? Or, do they get stuck on what to write down? Thankfully, the solution is here!
The Differentiated Graphic Organizers take learning to a whole new level. Over 70 differentiated graphic organizers focus on 24 different reading skills and strategies. This includes everything from the author’s purpose to figurative language. Specifically, there are three levels for each reading skill and strategy! Teachers can assign students the best level while ensuring everyone shows growth. Students will enjoy working on their forms throughout the week while reading at home.
For more tips, check out Differentiation Strategies that Work! Students will love learning with such a supportive, caring teacher!
#3: Anchor Charts
Are you always looking for new posters to hang up to help students learn? Teachers always are! An incredible idea is to use graphic organizers as anchor charts! To do this, I like to go to a printing store, such as Staples, and print my graphic organizer on larger paper. Or, you can even use your projector and copy down the graphic organizer yourself on anchor chart-sized paper. Then, as a class, we fill out the anchor chart while working. Students love to use their charts throughout the week while learning new skills!
#4: Assessments and Graphic Organizers
Are you tired of grading multiple-choice tests with a few short-answer responses? I’m sure you are! This also means students are tired of the same assessments week after week. Since assessments are essential in education, let’s liven them up with unique ways to use graphic organizers. Instead of a traditional test, hand out a graphic organizer based on a specific skill. Then, after reading, students can work on their chart. Honestly, this is an incredible way to get students thinking deeper and developing solid responses.
#5: Literature Circles/Book Clubs
I know there can be struggles with assigning different roles in literature circles or book clubs. Many times, this leads teachers to avoid using this great activity. Thankfully, there is a way to use literature circles without assigning roles! Instead, give each student a different graphic organizer. For instance, one student may receive an organizer on inferences while another is working on character analysis. So, if there are 5 students, the group works on 5 different skills as they read the book. Students can stop and discuss their findings along the way!
The Differentiated Graphic Organizers create an incredible way to assign different level books to different groups. This resource ensures that students are working on various skills at the level most appropriate for them.
#6: Reading Accountability
Teachers want students to love reading. There is so much enjoyment in looking at a classroom full of students reading and engaging with their books. However, teachers know students can also turn pages without reading the words. So, graphic organizers create an awesome way to hold students accountable. Instead of just flipping pages, they are responsible for filling out a graphic organizer. This can be over any literary skill, such as theme and main idea. When students know they are being held accountable, they take the assignment seriously.
Graphic organizers have the power to be such an incredible learning tool. With the unique ways to use graphic organizers above, students will deepen their thinking and understanding of so many skills.
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