Friday, July 6, 2012


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Each summer I have an annual tradition.
I stand in the Dollar Spot at Target clutching self-standing pocket charts and ponder, “What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks can I possibly do with these?”  
Because when you are a teacher and you find bargain pocket charts in fun colors it is not physically possible to leave them there. I know you are nodding in agreement. And so every year I would toss a couple in my big red cart and figure I would think of something to do with them.
Many years they lived in my closet.  
And then last year I started using them to do lunch count which worked great.  So great that I started using my students’ numbers and these charts for other purposes. 

Because Target Dollar Spot Pocket Chart Season is upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to make today’s Teacher Tip be about how to use those charts.
Monday’s Tip was about numbering your students and today we will springboard off of that.
I made a number card for each student  that would fit into a pocket chart. You’ll note that the cards shown in the photo are very boring and plain, The photo was from last year and I haven’t gotten into school to take an updated pic with the new cards from today’s printable yet....I’ll add that to my to do list.
Anyhow, I plan to use these cards with the table-tent pocket charts in the following ways this year:
to vote on if students liked a book or did not
Place a chart next to the bins where students turn in their work. Have them remove their card when they turn their work in so you’ll know at a glance who needs to complete what.
Use the cards as a method of picking centers or indoor recess choices. Program a card with the choices or write the choices at the top if you are able to snag one of Target’s deluxe boards with the dry erase board on top. Have the students place their card near their choice.
Manage turn-taking by putting a chart near the computer, art center, or anywhere else that you’ll need to go through a class rotation. When students complete their turn they remove their card and get the next student for his/her turn.
Manage writer’s workshop  and writing conferences by creating a label for the pockets to represent the writing process. Have students move their number cards from draft to edit to publish to show the status of the class.
Place the cards into the pocket chart and have the students “take a number” when you are working 1:1 and they need know, kind of like at the deli counter.
The printable shown above includes 3 sets of cards in 3 different styles. Each set includes the numbers 1-36. They are part of my Blackline Design Collection of products which was created to save teachers money spent on colored ink while allowing them to create custom, colorful or thematic classrooms. I typically print one set for myself and then use the photocopier to reproduce them onto colored cardstock.
Use them to show cooperative groups for reading, science, etc.
What ideas do you have for using number cards and/or pocket charts?

For more tips and ideas on organizing and managing your classroom please check out my Clutter-Free Guide along with my Teaching Procedures and Routines Workbook. This post is part of:
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