In the days of technology, it is easy to keep telling ourselves that as long as the students have the information in some format it is enough.
There is a lot of research that still says writing is necessary for learning.
In that light, it is still important for students to see the information around the classroom. Teachers can create their own posters to have around the classroom that explain important scaffolding for various activities.
Some important ideas for posters to consider:
- Thick and Thin Questions: include the definitions and examples. These types of questions can push students to start with the ‘right-there’ questions, but then push deeper to investigate their questions and understanding further as they learn.
- Annotation: more than anything the push is to get students learning to read and understand what they are reading. Many of us know how to read and think about what we are reading, but students need our help to learn these strategies. Students need to learn how to question and think about their reading.
- Questioning the teacher: a poster to remind students there are multiple strategies to finding answers is important. They should know to ask classmates, look in textbooks, search the internet (if you want), before they come to the teacher’s desk.
- Note-taking: Students copy everything the teacher puts on the board, then when reveiwing it they cannot make sense of anything. So we need to show them how. Posters showing College-rule note-taking or other forms that are available. As teachers we need to remember students need options, all of them learn differently. We need to give them options.
- Sentence starters: posters with words to start the conversation can help students get their ideas out, when they are unsure. Starters for ‘clarification’, ‘confusion’, ‘agreement’, ‘disagreement’, etc. This will also help with building respect and the ability of students to speak appropriate with each other for future discussions and debates.
- Protocol sheets: future discussions and debates can be aided by using specific protocols. Whether these protocols are for working in groups or for reading through an article, giving the students steps to help them will benefit the learning process.
By keeping posters about the classroom, teachers can refer to these to help students learn and grow in their skills.