It was a regular old Thursday. You know the kind. The one that seems like every other day. No big deal.
in walked the District ELA Coach AND the School Curriculum Coach - iPads in hand - totally unannounced.
This particular day I had planned to teach my students the ACE method for writing expository paragraphs. I had just picked out a fun video (thanks to my son's teachers at his school) to introduce the concept and then the students would use my new picture notes I made afterward.
I showed the video:
It was catchy and the students dug it. The ELA coach and the school coach were smiling. So far, so good!
So then I introduced my picture notes.
First, students worked with a partner and a word bank on the board to fill in the blanks.
After a short time, I displayed the correct answers so students could ensure they had the correct information. Next, students cut out the picture flaps to match them to the definitions. I handed out glue once I saw the flaps in the right places.
Of course, about this time, the two coaches began to circulate in the room, to see what
they students were really talking about and asking questions. I was distracted by a few students who did not seem to be able to manage the glue appropriately so I couldn't listen in.
Soon the bell rang and it was my
planning. The duo waited until everyone had left and then ...the questions began.
Those notes are fantastic! Where did you get them?
"You made them? How did you get the idea?"
First, I was thrilled that they thought my work was valuable. Then I was excited to hear my school coach use words like "innovating" (that later showed up on an official evaluation!).
But honestly, I made them because I read that visuals cause students to comprehend and remember more than words alone. The article explains that our brains are mainly image processors rather than word processors. In fact, it says words are abstract to our brain and images are
concrete which is why we remember things like the Starbucks logo much more easily than a grocery list.
That shouldn't exactly be shocking since the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" has been around forever. Plus, you probably know that YouTube has pretty much replaced Google as the number one search engine for those under the age of 30.
So it simply made sense to harness the power of visuals! I knew that my school favored the Cornell style of
notes but I also knew that students responded quite well to interactive notebooks. So I put the two together and called my new creation PIXANOTES!
Not only do Pixanotes use visuals, they are differentiated in 4 ways so you can accommodate short class periods, students with special needs, students learning English and even absent students!
But really, the best part was that later the coaches told me that when they asked the students questions, the students specifically referenced the pictures when answering the questions.
That makes it all worth it!
So, since that day, I have been continually adding to the
Save time and help your students enjoy increasing their comprehension and recall of important ELA concepts with Pixanotes®!
Thanks for stopping by!