Sunday, November 14, 2010

ABC Chart

At our workshop they demonstrated the ABC chart by having us write the two words "sibling rivalry" at the top right hand side of the page. The ABC Chart is simply a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper turned horizontally with 12 boxes on it. Four across and three down. Every kid has a copy. You can put a blank one for yourself up on the overhead, or make one for your smartboard.

A-B is the title of the first box.












As we discussed the topic (THEME) sibling rivalry with our partners, we added the words that came up in our brainstorm freeflowing discussion to the appropriate boxes. For example, in A-B I wrote antagonizing. In C-D I wrote closed doors. In E-F I wrote fights. The boxes might have more than one word or they might be blank. It doesn't matter, it's just to record your ideas. After a few minutes Kylene stopped us and had a person volunteer to share their list with the whole group. She told us that if we heard a word that we liked we could add it to our own chart. He read off a few words, then got to "entitlement." The whole room said ooooooh. She stopped us and said, I was waiting for that moment. When was the last time you heard a room thrill over a vocabulary word? We love that word. It's a cool word. You can have that teachable moment, get kids explaining themselves. What does that word mean? What made you come up with it, how does it connect to our theme?

The ABC Chart becomes your own personal word wall.

When searching for this template online I didn't find it. But I did find an interactive website tool (if you like that sort of thing) where you can create an organizer like this, add the words to the boxes, then print the results as a chart or book. It's from a lesson plan called Writing ABC Books to Enhance Reading Comprehension.

She gave us lots of ways that this chart could be used. Before reading in Science class -- everything you think of when I say the word "photosynthesis." Then the teacher can walk around the room and see at a glance how much prior knowledge kids are bringing to the topic. This chart personifies Differentiated Instruction. Everyone comes to it at his/her level.

Kids can take notes about whatever topic they are reading. This one sheet can organize a lot of information. While reading a history text, have kids write down words/ideas about George Washington (in pencil) and Thomas Jefferson (in pen). Or any two topics! Then you are set for a compare and contrast.

In Reading you can use this chart to see how a character changes. Break up a novel into three parts, use one color pencil to write words or phrases about a character from pages 1 to whatever... second color pencil to write about that character in the middle of the text.... pen to write about the character from page blahblah to the end. She gives the example of Brian in Hatchettransforming from a scared little boy to a character who is independent, confident.

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