Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Power of a Poster

Modern technology may be wonderful and much "greener", but it's got nothin' on the good old-fashioned poster. When you really stop to think about it, how much quality student thinking disappears with the off switch on the Interactive White Board? My guess is a LOT.

As I look at this Thinking Strategy poster, my eyes are initially drawn to the beautiful colors and helpful picture clues. I see an organized chart that captures students' thinking about surface and deep connections as related to their schema. Upon a closer look, I can read the actual surface and deep connections that Ms. Doyle and her students have made to this text (The Color of Home by Mary Hoffman). Zooming into the  Deep Connections, I see that Ms. Doyle and her students labeled them based on how each connection helped the reader better understand the text: character, plot, and setting are the curriculum focus-- BINGO! Right there, for all Ms. Doyle's readers to see... ALL DAY... is a visual reminder of how their thinking helps them to be better readers. How fortunate for these students to have access to this poster whenever they read in class- in science, writer's workshop, social studies, etc!

Going deeper still, this not so shallow piece of chart paper looks to me like a work in progress. I have to infer that the Ms. Doyle will return to this powerful poster over and over again as she continues to read the book aloud and record her students' thinking. This text seems like one of those gems a teacher stretches across several days to ensure that students marinate in their thinking. I can't wait to see, and capture with another photo, the final product!

Technology may be fabulous and modern, but there are definitely times that it just can't compete with a good old-fashioned powerful poster.

Be sure to add your comments and ideas of how you have used posters in your classroom and how they have benefited your students! Let me know if you want to pass along a photo of one of your posters! I'd LOVE to post YOUR poster!

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