Monday, July 4, 2011

Does paper still have its place in the classroom?


I was not expecting to find myself at a session about using paper graphic organizers in the classroom during my "all tech" oriented plan at ISTE. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the Print Cut Fold session.

I have used graphic organizers in the past both successfully and as tragic failures. Most of the failures were due to the vague nature of the organizer I either created or adapted from something I found. Attending this session and seeing how adding a little cutting and folding can really make a boring old organizer into a focused creative one.

Jim Holland, author of the book series "Print Cut Fold", did not only display the creative nature of his graphic organizers, but explained in detail how this can be used in the classroom through all grades. His focus was not so much on printing off an organizer and having students fill it in, but more on including the student in creating the organizer as a study or work tool or a hand in project.

Jim also gave great pointers on how to explain to students some of the simplest tasks, like filling out a text box, triple click and type.

As a representative for not only my school but my school division, I was able to take ideas that will work across curriculum and grades, back to my division and school. I look forward more so to see how my high school English classes will take to some of these activities.

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