SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

A Great Tool To Help Students Organize Thoughts and Ideas

A graphic organizer is a simple paper tool that uses drawings or words to express knowledge, thoughts, or ideas. They are particularly helpful for young students to organize and sequence facts, concepts or steps for problem solving. Here are some templates for graphic organizers.

When you help a young child organize a story he is reading, you greatly increase his comprehension. When he’s working with nonfiction or informational text, a graphic organizer can help him understand and apply facts and information. They allow him to visualize thoughts about characters, actions, and settings in stories, or pertinent and important facts that need to be remembered from nonfiction. Graphic organizers can be used:

  • Prereading, to help a child predict what might happen;
  • During reading, to help him keep the story in sequence;
  • Post reading, to check for her comprehension, or to go back to the text to look for evidence.

Graphic organizers are wonderful for writing and math, as well:

  • A story map can help your child write the correct sequence of her thoughts to paper.
  • A simple Venn diagram can help him organize odd and even numbers to 21.

Using graphic organizers is a perfect way for parents to assist their young student with reading comprehension, sequencing events for a writing assignment, or outlining math steps.

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