So our school takes pride on being on the 'cutting edge' of classroom best practices and other school-ish trends. One big trend going around is the use of 'Quality Tools'. These are used a lot in businesses and are now beginning to take over schools. This is our 2nd year using them in the classrooms and I must say the kids do love them! (Quality tools are different types of charts and organizational tools.) There are MANY different type of QTs but our school focuses on 7 different ones. We have:
PDCI (Plan, Do, Check, Improve)
We are required to use ONE of these in our classrooms every week and we even have to turn in a 1/2 sheet of paper stating which one we used and how we used it to our principals on Friday.
Anywhoo - the reason I wanted to share this is because I really enjoy using these and wanted to pass on some of the ideas on how I've used them in the classroom. First, the Affinity Diagram is a GREAT way to assess prior knowledge. It really takes the place of a KWL chart. Basically what you do is present the students with a question. Give each student a sticky note and allow them to respond. Have them place their sticky notes on the front board or a central location when he/she is done. When all sticky notes have been turned in then the next part begins. For the second part - you (the teacher) reads through each post it note and you and the students organize the sticky notes according to similar answers. I usually write those answer topics above the sticky notes as we group them.
Here are a few pictures of my class using it. I asked them, "Why do we celebrate Black History Month?". This was before we began our BHM unit.
This is the finished product, after we had grouped them all and labeled them!
The students really enjoy being able to see how their Affinity diagram changes from the beginning of a unit to the end.
Another great Quality Tool that I LOVE using is the Plus/Delta. Plus stands for positive things or things we've done well and Delta stands for things we need to improve on. I made this lovely Plus/Delta page for a fluency activity we do on our iPod Touches. I have the students record themselves reading a short passage and then they listen to themselves read it back to them three times. As they listen they are listening for things that they did really well at when reading out loud and things that they could get better on. They fill out their Plus/Delta while listening and in between listening. The kids do really well and its a great visual.
Click the picture to download the Plus/Delta chart
There are SOOO many other ways to use these and the other quality tools in the classroom. I have a list made up of all of the ways they've been used in our school since the beginning of the year if you're interested :) Hope these are helpful for someone else!