Saturday, 2 August 2014

À la carte: Anchor Chart Binder and Online Notebooks

This next school year, I will officially be on a cart, traveling from class to class to teach FSL. I say officially, because I was pretty much on a cart this year, even though I did have access to a FSL classroom.  Most of the time, I chose to teach the students in their homerooms.  

So, I am already used to being the "traveling show" when it come to teaching.  Over the past year, I was looking for ways to make my traveling easier for my students.  Any FSL teacher knows that there are many benefits of having a dedicated space for teaching French.  I want to be able to provide some one those benefits, even though I move from place to place.  

The biggest challenge for me was finding space to keep the anchor charts that I made visible for my students.  I have 2 ways that I do this: the first is heavily tech based, and the second is my Anchor Chart Binder.  

Anchor Chart Binder


On my cart, I have two front cubbies on the bottom, and in there I keep a binder that hold every anchor chart I make.  During class, I have the student designated as the class reporter for the week, take a picture of the anchor charts that we make/ use.  Then the pictures are uploaded to Google Drive, or emailed to me, and I print to to add to the binder.  


This is an example from one of my grade 4 classes.  We were learning our learning goals and success criteria, and so the class reporter took a picture of the chart.  The binder itself is organized into sections: verbes, vocabulaire, and unités (with the title of the unit able to be written in erasable marker on the tab.)  

The students were really good about getting and using the binder if they needed to review an anchor chart for some reason.  This binder was especially usuful for students that were away, and needed to catch up.  I could also photocopy certain charts for students to have access to with their notes or for activities in which I needed to differentiate for some students.

Notes on Google Drive


When we started to implement the use of iPads into our classes, I moved away from the binder to an online binder of sorts. I still had a class reporter, but now instead of printing, I uploaded the charts to a shared drive so students could access the charts and other notes from anywhere.  

Students can access the online notebook from my class blog, but I also created a shortened link so that students can memorize the link easily.  (create a shortened link through services such as or Google URL shortener.) Once in the shared drive, they can browse and download the notes that they need on their device.  I hope to cut down on the amount of paper we use. (I have a secret quest to become paperless.  More on that another time though.)  More, I want the students to be able to access the information they need anytime and anyplace.  

Through my school board, students have their own Google Drive space where they can download the notes they want to keep to their own drive.  Ideally, students would download the notes as we use them to their own drive to pull up in class etc.  

Pluses for using Google Drive are that the app is really user friendly.  My grade 4s and 5s last year were experts at navigating the classes shared Drive and uploading their projects and pictures to it.  It was a great tool because we had to used shared computers and iPads.  Students did not need to store anything on the devices and they had access to the projects and notes for homework or to work on when they finished other work.   More than this though, using services like Google drive are great inter-subject learning.  And knowing how to use cloud storage services is a crucial skill for our students as they grow and education become further and further entrenched in the technology that is readily available to us.  It was really exciting to see the students use the technology in FSL.  They knew that it was important, and it was engaging.  They know that they need these skills, and more they want to learn these skills. 

Having set up my binder and Google Drive for my students this upcoming year, I am looking forward to being "à la carte."  I will get to keep my online resources up to date, and hopefully it will become an integral resource for my students.

How do you manage sharing information to your students without a dedicated class space? Have you thought about going paperless?  

1 comment:

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