One of the things I learned awhile ago about my math teaching, was that I was not paying attention to how all my students learn. When my teaching started to change (out of necessity!) I thought, "Who better to ask how they learn than the students themselves?"
I do this anchor chart with my class every year at the beginning of the school year. I love it because it gives me some very interesting insights into how they are thinking about their learning. :-)
It takes a few steps to get to the finished product... First, I give them all a few minutes to think for themselves at their seats. They write their ideas in their math journal. Usually, they can come up with at least a few things during their think time. I always start with "What Helps ME Learn Math?" to encourage them to think about their own learning.
Next, I have them share their ideas with a partner. This really helps my friends who don't have their own idea to come up with something, or to borrow an idea from their partner.
Once everyone has a chance to write down some of the things that help them learn math, we share out to the whole class and make the chart together. It usually turns out that many people say the same things, but there's often a couple that say things I don't think of! This is where I change the question to "What Helps US Learn Math?" since we do it as a class.
I really do love this activity! We hang the anchor chart on our math board for the whole year. Sometimes, I type up the list and they glue it in their math journals so they have access to it all year. Every once in a while, we revisit the chart during the year and add things to it.
I've also found that this chart works at the beginning of the year or any time! I have done it half way through the year before and it still makes kids think and gives me great information. :-)
If anybody else makes this chart with their kiddos, I would love to see it! If you have a beginning of the year math anchor chart that you love, please share it with us in the comments!
Have a great day all!
~Nichole from The Craft of Teaching