Saturday, August 3, 2013

Making Strategies Habits! (freebies included!)

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I went to Teachers College this year for their reading institute. I learned SO much, but one of my main takeaways was the importance of holding students accountable for turning strategies taught to them into habits. Equally important is a system for tracking strategies students are working on turning into habits. Enter the strategies to habits board and sheet!

Here's an example of what a student's sheet might look like. It would stay in their reading bags or bins in a sheet protector. The yellow squares are sticky notes that can be changed as strategies become habits for each student.

As you confer with your students and listen to them read, you can decide if any of the strategies you've given them have become consistently used enough that they are now habits for that child. When that happens, the sticky note comes off and the child puts it in their pocket on the strategies to habits board (see photo below). Not only is the student proud to have turned a strategy into a habit, but the pocket on the board will contain all of the strategies they've turned into habits. When it's parent conference time, you can pull out the sticky notes when you meet with parents. When that parent tells you "my child has learned nothing this year and they need a challenge" (you know you'll have one), you can say, "look at all of the strategies that your child has now turned into habits. What a great reader they're becoming!" I made my strategies to habits board in a black/chevron theme to match my classroom, but any library pockets could work, or you could even make it bigger on a whole bulletin board with paper stapled on three sides as pockets. 
I numbered my pockets instead of using names so I can reuse this poster! It's not yet laminated because I can't get into my building, but you get the idea.

These are the chevron pockets I used. I got them from Lakeshore! 

Here are my chalkboard numbers in case anyone is interested - I also included my header for strategies to habits in the download, but you could use these numbers for anything in your classroom and you can omit printing that page :)

I am adding a new Facebook fan freebie today! If you're looking for classroom jobs, this is for you! :)
Like me on Facebook and go to "Fan Freebies"! 


  1. Love your chevron pockets! I'll be looking for some of them!

    Literacy Spark

  2. I love the chevron pockets, too. Wish I had a Lakeshore close by.

    All of your organization will surely pay off at conference time.

    Thanks for sharing the freebies.

  3. Hey there!
    Looks like you are up to lots this summer. "Lucky to be in First" and myself are planning a coast to coast giveaway and we'd love for you to join us. Email me if you are interested.
    A Burst of First

  4. First, I LOVE this!! Thank you for sharing!! Second, did you end up laminating your pockets? If so, how did you get them to open? Thanks!!!