I have a confession to make. I have never been the teacher who posted the objective I was teaching on the board. I know that it’s a requirement at many schools, but I have never taught in one of those schools. But recently, with my focus on encouraging students to take more ownership of their own learning, I came to the realization all by myself how powerful the practice can be.
Tonight I want to talk about “I Can” anchor charts. I know that “I Can” statements for standards are plentiful. I’m sure a Google search would turn up a ton of hits. But I think it’s more powerful to develop “I Can” anchor charts together with the students, rather than posting a preprinted chart on the wall. Here’s how it looked in my classroom today.
As my 4th graders came in the Math Lab, I had the “I Can” statement shown in the picture above written on my whiteboard easel. The red notations were not on the original statement–I added them as we discussed the statement. Since this was the first time I had used “I Can” statements with my students, I explained to them that the purpose of the statement was to tell them exactly what they needed to be able to do master the standard. We talked about each part of the chart, because I wanted to make sure they understood what all the parts meant. As I taught the lesson, I continually referred back to the chart. Since we will work on this standard all week, I wanted to transcribe the chart onto chart paper after the class, so I took a picture of what I had written on the easel. You can see that when I recreated the chart, I added some additional information. The chart will hang on the board in my small group area throughout the week.
Here are some additional pictures of my 3rd and 5th grade before and after charts.
And here’s my small group teaching area with the final charts posted so the students can refer to them throughout the week.
How do you use “I Can” statements in your classroom?