Monday, February 28, 2022

Sketchnoting and Read Alouds - Part 1

We have been using Apple's Elements of Learning as the backbone for our tech integration in our district. With a special focus on Communication and Creation (1 type) and Real World Engagement. One of the schools I work with was looking for an entire staff project for communication and creation. I was at another school listening to their literacy coach talk about doing purposeful read-alouds and it sparked an idea for me. What if we paired purposeful read alouds with sketchnoting? Sketchnoting is something I've been trying to "get off the ground" for the last few years in our district. We bought our students Logitech Crayons during COVID.

Back to the idea. 

The teachers were very open to the idea b/c they like the idea of students being fully engaged during a read-aloud. The building literacy coach and I also thought that some teachers could use some modeling in the way of purposeful read alouds. We were so glad the teachers didn't think of it as One More Thing, especially this year! Hence a coaching collaboration was born! 

We made a plan to collect some baseline data from the students. The questions we asked were - 

1. Do you know what sketchnoting is? 

2. Do you like read-aloud time in your classroom? 

3. Do you think drawing or doodling helps you learn? 

We used Poll Everywhere to collect the data electronically. 

I went into each of the 18 homerooms and did a 1/2 hour mini-lesson, "Getting Started with Sketchnoting: A Pershing Project". First I showed some examples of sketchnotes from kindergarteners and first graders. I made the point that a person from kindergarten and older could do this. Plus kids liked seeing their work in the slide deck. We talked about the apps available to them on their iPad or the fact they could choose to do their sketches with pencil and paper too. Next, we talked about the fact that sketchnoting is about IDEAS NOT ART (read that again if you've never heard it before). We practiced drawing the 5 elements that can be the start of, or part of any and all drawings - square, circle, triangle, line, and dot. If you can draw those you can draw anything. We talked about everyone making their own meaning of the pictures and words that they put on their paper/"paper". I also told them the only wrong answer was if they didn't try. Finally, we finished with a set of quick draws. They had 1 minute each to draw the following: cup, house, book, happy, person, pizza, idea or thought, and jump. Happy, idea or thought, and jump are either not nouns or not nouns that you can touch. I was blown away by what the kids were able to draw. They represented idea or thought in a number of ways - thought bubble, question mark above the head, just a brain with a question mark in it, a light bulb, and a lightning bolt. Genius! 

I had to do it virtually one day because of a severe weather day. 

Also, I sketched a logo to go along with the initiative.