Last year, I asked my 4th grade students to draw a circle map in their writing journals. Easy enough, right? NO!
Even though I drew my circle map example in my own journal and had it on the projector for them to see, I still walked around and saw circles that had a one inch diameter. Here’s a sample of the conversations I had while walking around.
Me: “Can you write in that?”
Student: No response.
M: “You need to make it bigger. Look at mine.”
S: No response.
M: “Come on, you can do it.”
S: Picks up pencil, scratches out one inch circle and draws two inch circle.
M: Pulls out hair.
So, what I really saw that year is that we MUST, MUST, MUST explicitly teach our students to draw diagrams for their science notebooks. If a big enough circle was an issue, I KNEW we must, must, must work on this in order to create detailed diagrams in science.
I had seen the ABCD method for diagrams several times before, so I decided to use that. And, I love it.
|My ABCD Diagrams Poster|
Just like anything: Look at examples and non-examples. Model, model, model. Practice, practice, practice. Feedback, feedback, feedback.