I recently finished my 11th book of the summer. I'm on a book reading frenzy of sorts, making up for all the books I didn't read while being a teacher the past nine months I guess.
One of my favorites out of the 11 reads was Smarter Charts by Marjorie Martinelli and Kristine Mraz. It's filled with powerful tips that show teachers how to envision, make, and use charts in more powerful and engaging ways. The charts they talk about are not time-consuming. Nor are they cutesy, but they're so very eye-catching. They're meant to be engaging tools that students will repeatedly use to become independent problem solvers. These kinds of charts take on the roll of teacher as stated by the authors themselves in the quote below.
"Consider this book a consciousness-raising effort aimed to elevate charts to a level of necessity - not just because we teachers are told to, but because we have found them to be incredibly helpful tools, full of information, and truly the third teacher in the room."
The book also contains several photos of charts for those of us who live on the visual side of things, as well as a handful of lesson plans so we can envision the making and use of smarter charts in action.
You can find the authors of this book on Facebook. Look up Chartchums or click on the picture below.
The authors also blog about charts. Their posts include excellent ideas, descriptions, and photos from teachers who are creating smarter charts with their students. The posts are excellent. Click on the link below to see for yourself.
I'm looking forward to putting the ideas from this book into action next year. I'd definitely recommend it if you'd like to see charts become the third teacher in your room as well.