Saturday, September 28, 2013

Color-Worthy Handouts

My German teacher had a simple but very effective trick for organizing papers: make copies on colored paper, whenever it is a handout that you want the students to be able to quickly retrieve and to reference over time. I have started to do this this year. Regular worksheets are always on white paper, but quizzes and important reference handouts are always on colored paper. This way, after a unit is over, I can basically tell the kids to leave all the white handouts filed away at home and to just keep their colored handouts handy for future classes.

Here are some recent handouts that I think are useful enough to be on colored paper:
  • Addressing common calculator entry errors, because seeing my kids enter them wrong repeatedly is making me want to tear my hair out. It's an indication that they are not getting enough exposure to math technology (on the computer or on their TIs) over the course of their education, because the way to enter these algebraic expressions is pretty standard across all platforms.
  • Good writing transitions to help out when kids are communicating their problem-solving process via lengthy writing. I am super excited to share an example of student work, verrrry soon!
Hope that this color-coding trick or these handouts could help you and your students!

1 comment:

  1. I love the "important handouts are on colorful paper" strategy so much that I spend far too much money buying colored paper. :) The time it saves in class is well worth the additional cost, whether the class is co-taught Algebra 1 or AP Calc. I use one color of paper exclusively for weekly bellwork (Do Nows) so my students can always find their "Do Now" sheets quickly. An unexpected bonus is that I can see who takes it out right away and who needs a reminder get started.