From Our Teacher Files: Using Color with Text

Teaching students highlighting can be challenging because it’s hard to correct errors from a highlighter. It’s also challenging when it’s a classroom set of books or from the library. There are two very low tech tools that can help with this: post-it notes and highlighting tape.
Post-It Notes and Flags
post it notesPost-it notes are now available in multitude of colors and sizes. Using them while reading is a strategy many graduate students have been using for years. Bring it to the classroom! If each student has one pad in their desk and uses it to post notes while reading they are learning to use a useful tool AND making it easier to correct errors as well as protect materials. A perfect teacher phrase: “they are a tool, not a toy” will help not find them all over after the first few days! The joy is that they don’t really ruin things so there is a little extra protection also. They are also a nice item to ask for through donations or school supplies, if it’s a classroom budget concern.
Page Flags

Page Flags

post it page markers
post it flag pad
These flexible ways to tag images or pages is helpful when using library books or borrowing classroom books also. With low readers, even of preschool age, they can use post it flags to identify certain feature or example in a book:
  • in picture books use a flag to highlight a certain concept or category (animals, people, shapes, actions….)
  • examples for phonics focus such as vowel teams, specific suffix, vocab words or starting sound (images that start with /b/)
  • grammar focus such as flag action verbs, proper nouns, or adverbs

You can also use them to build sentences: write a subject on a yellow and a predicate on blue, pink for adjectives……..

Highlighting Tape
Highlight tape comes in one color rolls and is repositionable like a post-it, but you can read through it like a highlighter or piece of acetate. It is more of a stretch on a classroom budget, but for those parents who ask what they can get for their child to help, it’s a wonderful suggestion. When using classroom books or library materials (or sheet music!), it’s also wonderful since it can be removed.
One suggestion is to prepare short strip “kits” for each student by placing strips on a note card. They use the strips on their cards to find parts of speech, important ideas or specific text references.
For further suggestions or similar ideas, feel free to visit the Assistive Technology hub at Kent Intermediate School District: click here.

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One thought on “From Our Teacher Files: Using Color with Text

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