Bring Colour to your Reading Lesson using Sticky Notes!

Post date: Apr 3, 2013 11:43:31 PM

I’m a great fan of using colour as a means of helping children to organise their thinking and have been colour coding operation keywords for the past three or four years in problem-solving in maths as a way to categorise the language found in word problems and associate these categories with the relevant operations.

I recently came across this article from Monica Burns at Class Tech Tips showing how teachers could now throw out their post-its in favour of a Sticky Notes app. A great idea of course, as long as you have a class set of iPads/iPods as Monica does, but this is unlikely to be the case in most Irish primary classrooms. However the accompanying image and text got me thinking……

In this example, the student writes the date and page number of where they stopped in their current book. The purple notes are for wonderings/questions, the yellow notes are for answers to their questions, and the blue notes are for connections. I allow students to “stop and jot” their notes using this app during our Reader’s Workshop time.

This would go perfect with the strategies recommended as part of Dr. Martin Gleeson’s BuildingBridges of Understanding; a different colour for each strategy e.g. blue sticky notes for connections “this reminds me of …”, purple for the questions that are looking for clarification “ I wonder…”, green for predications etc. Another advantage is that “the very nature and size of them (varied as they now can be) encourages, even demands, a precise and concise use of language” (from Post-It Note Pedagogy ). Used in this way the pupils are now also determining importance. I would also imagine that a different colour could be used to collect clunks or WOW words etc

So I’m now off to my nearest Dealz or Euro World shop to buy them out of sticky notes, since it's unlikely I’ll be getting a class set of iPads anytime soon! Mind you, I did download the free version of the app to explore on my own iPad… a bit of a novelty at first but I soon got bored writing notes to myself…

PS: Do you also use the Building Bridges of Understanding approach to comprehension strategies in your class or school? If so, you might be interested in an alternative version of the RUCSAC approach that I adapted to incorporate the main steps of the Declunking procedure, click to download the file below.