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Smarter Charts K-2: Optimizing an Instructional Staple to Create Independent Readers and Writers [Paperback]

by Marjorie Martinelli, Kristine Mraz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 20, 2012 0325043426 978-0325043425 5 - 7 years

"Your charts don't need to be perfect, just thoughtful. You don't even have to be able to draw. Just put the child before the chart."
- Marjorie Martinelli and Kristine Mraz

Listen to an interview with Marjorie and Kristi, the Chartchums, on Education Talk Radio.

Commercially available charts leave you hanging? Want the secret to jump-off-the-wall charts that stick with kids? Trust
Smarter Charts.

Did you ever want to know:

  • What do great charts look like?
  • How many is too many?
  • Where are the best places for them in my classroom?
  • How long do I keep them?
  • How do I know if they are working?

Then you'll want to meet Marjorie Martinelli and Kristine Mraz, the Chartchums. They struggled with the same questions, and Smarter Charts shares not only the answers, but the best practices they've discovered as well. Amp up the power of your charts with tips on design and language, instructional use, and self-assessment. Even better, discover surprising strategies that deepen engagement, strengthen retention, and heighten independence-all by involving students in chart making.

Packed with full-color sample charts from real classrooms, Smarter Charts shares simple, brain-based strategies proven to make your classroom an even more active, effective space for literacy instruction and classroom management.


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Smarter Charts K-2: Optimizing an Instructional Staple to Create Independent Readers and Writers + Ralph Tells a Story
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Walk into a Best Practice classroom and what do you see? A great teacher, curious kids, and walls filled with thoughtful, useful, and attractive charts, co-created by everyone in the room. These handmade charts are not a decoration or a nice idea---they are a necessity, helping kids take increasing responsibility for their own thinking. Mraz and Martinelli have charted the way, helping us to see the value in these often unrecognized learning tools and showing us how to make great ones with our kids.
--Harvey Daniels, coauthor of Best Practice

Through lesson transcripts, amazing visual support, and down-to-earth, real-life examples, Marjorie and Kristi show us that the main work around classroom charts is not what's ON the chart, but rather what's INSIDE the chart. They use language development and brain research, as well as what they know about best practices for teaching to help us see that charts serve much bigger purposes than room enhancement or public records of our teaching. They help us chart a new course for charting that is student-centered, research-based, and aesthetically pleasing. - --Kathy Collins, author of Growing Readers

Through lesson transcripts, amazing visual support, and down-to-earth, real-life examples, Marjorie and Kristi show us that the main work around classroom charts is not what's ON the chart, but rather what's INSIDE the chart. They use language development and brain research, as well as what they know about best practices for teaching to help us see that charts serve much bigger purposes than room enhancement or public records of our teaching. They help us chart a new course for charting that is student-centered, research-based, and aesthetically pleasing. --Kathy Collins, author of Growing Readers

About the Author

Marjorie Martinelli is coauthor - with Kristine Mraz - of Smarter Charts. Their popular blog chartchums keeps teachers in touch with ongoing and relevant classroom issues and ways to use charts as a support. Chartchums is also on Facebook and on Twitter @chartchums! While in schools as consultants with the Reading and Writing Project, the teachers they've worked with have begged them to write a how-to book about the amazing charts they introduce to consulting classrooms. Smarter Charts is that guide. She is a staff developer at the Reading and Writing Project where for the past ten years she has lead numerous leadership groups and presented at many national and international educational conferences. Prior to joining the Reading and Writing Project, Marjorie was a New York City public school teacher, a teacher-researcher, and an adjunct teacher at Bank Street College of Education. She has an MA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University and is a contributing author to Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for Teaching Writing. She is also the author of two Brain Quest Math decks for first and second grade. Marjorie lives in Greenwich Village with her husband Tom, where they raised two daughters, Katherine and Christina. Listen to an interview with Marjorie and Kristi, the Chartchums, on Education Talk Radio.

Kristine Mraz is coauthor - with Marjorie Martinelli - of Smarter Charts. Their popular blog chartchums keeps teachers in touch with ongoing and relevant classroom issues and ways to use charts as a support. Chartchums is also on Facebook and on Twitter @chartchums! While in schools as consultants with the Reading and Writing Project, the teachers they've worked with have begged them to write a how-to book about the amazing charts they introduce to consulting classrooms. Smarter Charts is that guide. As a staff developer for the Reading and Writing Project, Kristi works with primary teachers across New York City and the United States, and in schools as distant as Taiwan. In addition to providing in-classroom support around the teaching of reading and writing, she has presented at conferences and institutes across the nation. Before joining the Project, Kristine was a classroom teacher in Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. She has taught across the primary grades and holds a special place in her heart for engaging in social action with young students. When she is not working alongside adults and children, Kristine is reading and doodling. Listen to an interview with Marjorie and Kristi, the Chartchums, on Education Talk Radio.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (August 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325043426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325043425
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need help with your charts? September 23, 2012
By Erlyne
Format:Paperback
This book is an easy-to-read resource with practical tips for effectively creating classroom charts. The authors also write an informative blog that further supports their work in this book. I'd recommend it for a book study or a gift for a student teacher.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Indeed!! September 23, 2012
Format:Paperback
Finally - a practical "smart" resource that will help teachers create powerful visual references to support and enhance learning (not just cover wall space). The authors offer an endless array of step by step suggestions, tips and examples teachers can put into practice immediately to enrich their classrooms. The title specifies grades K-2, but I can see this resource being used at all grades with simple adaptations and additions. I hope there are many more books to follow across grades and content areas! I will be recommending it to teachers everywhere!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Helpful September 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a writing coach for my elementary school, I started using this book the day it arrived. My charts are now more interactive and the students are really using them. I only wish I had more wall space in my classrooms!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Think Your Charts Are Good? Just Wait... September 18, 2012
Format:Paperback
I never realized I needed help with my charts, until I met Kristi and Marjorie. I can step into a classroom and I just know who has been to one of their workshops, worked with them as staff developers, who reads their blog regularly, and now - (and I'm so happy for this) who has read their book. Kristi and Marjorie bring their humor, creativity, and love of children and learning to every page of this amazing resource. Charts just seemed like paper to scribble some teaching points on, now I will never look at charts the same way again. (P.S. The book may say K-2, but don't tell anyone I work with older than that kids... because I am borrowing every great idea for them)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have! September 17, 2012
Format:Paperback
Smarter Charts is an absolute MUST HAVE in your professional development collection. This book is filled with tips that are not only useful when creating your own charts, but any kinds of visuals in your classroom. You will definitely take away lots of ideas to ensure your readers and writers are utilizing charts as tools to support them during their independent work time. This text would be great for a K-2 teacher book club in your school, too!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK April 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not as much in here as I had hoped! :More philosophy than easy to use materials. Maybe good for a brand new teacher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowering, Practical, and Fun! August 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If a teacher wants students to be independent (and we all do, right?) then classroom charts and tools that equip kids to make their own choices and remain self-directed are essential. But some of us can't draw. No worries! Kristi and Marjorie teach us how to use symbols and quick drawings to communicate ideas to even the youngest, emergent readers. But some of us are overly wordy. No worries! Kristi and Marjorie teach us how to distill our most important points on a clear chart. But sometimes our kids don't use our charts. No worries! Again, the authors have us covered with practical and clear ways to co-create these learning staples with students and teach them how to use them well. This book is packed with great advice, clear visuals (of course!), and a bunch of humor. You'll enjoy reading this professional book and enjoy even more putting the authors' ideas into practice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smarter charts... needs more examples August 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would have liked to see many samples , photos of real charts used in real classrooms. It is a basic book of how to and I'm a more show me style learner.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for workshop schools
My school adopted the workshop approach this year and to say the least, it has been difficult. I wish I found this book so much earlier. It is SO cute! Read more
Published 26 days ago by Lauren C.
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE it
What's not to love? This book is super helpful. My charts are 1000% better than ever!

The pictures are super helpful! Need help drawing? This is the book for you!
Published 4 months ago by Lab lover
4.0 out of 5 stars Anchors Away!
This is a good book if you want to take your own anchor charts to the next level or gain new ones!
Published 5 months ago by Rita M. O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Smarter Charts K-2 by Marjorie Martinelli
EXACTLY what I wanted to help guide me with Writer's Workshop! My first graders are now helping me create charts and referring to them when they need guidance during Writer's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by AP
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have if you teach elementary
I love this book. It has changed how I do my charts in my classroom and has cut back on time spent them. I would recommend this to any k-2 teacher. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lisa Dance
2.0 out of 5 stars Good title, and that got me hooked...
I bought this book thinking it would made my anchor charts better, but there is not much in there that I had already done... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Carlos F Gonzalez
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
What I liked most was the drawing that can be used to make your own posters. Would have liked more drawings.
Published 7 months ago by Pam Mendrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformed our classrooms
I am a school leader and one of my teachers went to a Lucy Calkins training in NYC. She shared all the amazing things she learned and one of her take aways was this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tia Perrault
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
Good guide for creating your own classroom charts. Realizes that working with your students to create a chart is so important.
Published 8 months ago by Mariah Kolb
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful!
I'm looking forward to using this book throughout the year. We've only just begun the school year, so I haven't used any of the books ideas yet. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Linda Down
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