O.K., so school is starting back up and you're not sure where to start, right? Well, I've been in my classroom the last 3 days working for free...don't get me wrong, I'm o.k. with it. I've rearranged 36 desks in my small classroom. I currently have 33 students, and I'm not going there right now. I pulled down all of the paper covers and materials that I stowed for the summer. I really didn't need to go to all of that work in May though, nothing was done like they told us it would be...no money. I've put up coordinating bulletin boards (twice on one because the colors were too bright for me). I've rearranged my desk, and purge a lot of stuff this year. It all feels quite clean and new, I like that feeling! And I LOVE TEACHING!
And now, I sit here procrastinating about what to do on the first days of school besides the usual routine. I want something engaging, but educational. So the other night I was having a before school starts dinner with a couple of my NBCT peeps who I love and we were discussing Infographics, Pinterest, and websites. I don't believe Infographics are new, but "wow", they've exploded on to the scene. I love how you can do so many different things with them and how it fits into the Common Core Standards.
So, I wanted to write a Back-to-School post, but I thought I'd give you something new to use in your classroom at the beginning of they year... Infographics! O.K., don't look at me like that, here are a few ideas, suggestions, and websites to get you going! When teaching students to construct an Infographic here are the basic steps you'll want to take:
1. Plan and Draft: Students should draft out their Infographic using grouped ideas, words, and data, and arrows, frames, and boxes to represent the flow and concepts. You can simply do this on a piece of paper or journal or you can use a site like easel.ly. or Piktochart
2. Color: Teaching students about color to represent and showcase their work is important for Infographics. We've all had that student who has had a powerpoint that you couldn't read because of colors.
3. Graphics and Pictures: Graphics will make any presentation lively, but this can be accomplished also with words, arrows, and frames.
4. Research and Data: Data, data, data...and it needs to be accurate and targeted for your audience. I think you could actually use RAFT here if you've taught this to your students.
5. Information (accurate): Need I say more? The most important part is the information or knowledge imparted in the Infographic. It needs to be concise, thorough, and relevant to pique your readers interest.
I plan on having my students create infographics about themselves the first weeks of school and progress to curriculum content topics after that. Infographics can be a powerful tool to engage your students in reading, writing, real world math topics, historical and current event research, and just plain fun. I believe they are around to stay, so jump on the bandwagon and check out the sites below to get you going, you'll be as engaged as your students!
Kathy Schrock's Infographics Video
10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics
Integrating Infographics into the iClassroom
5 Great Ways to Use Infographics in the Classroom
The Best Sources for Interactive Infographics
Infographics as a Creative Assessment
Infographics for Librarians, Educators, and Other Cool Geeks
Infographics in the Classroom
Using Infographics in the Classroom