This Week's Tip: Use Charts to Visualise Your Thoughts
As I plan for next term I have lots of ideas floating around that I need to pin down on paper. This week I decided to do this using Smart Art in Microsoft Word 2007 and a Gantt Chart I created using Microsoft Excel 2007.
I am trying something new for my Literacy unit this term, which will allow for a lot more student direction. As is always the way, when a lesson involves greater student direction, a great deal of teacher preparation must take place before hand in preparing a 'map' for students to work with. I found the Smart Art feature (in the Insert tab) very useful as a 'map' making tool.
There are a number of choices for chart type, and they are very easy to insert and use. You can see a sample of the pop-up box here:
Smart Art allowed me to create visually appealing diagrams that should help students to comprehend the information and their choices more effectively. I was excited by how quickly I could create "professional looking" diagrams. Here are a couple of my samples - the content is still in draft form, but I wanted to share some examples of how you might use these.
I wanted to make a project timeline to show the steps and progress involved with introducing a laptop program in the Year 5/6 classrooms this year. This will help me to monitor the process and ensure that key items are happening at the required time. A quick Google search led me to this You Tube video attributed to rrphillips:
I followed the steps to create my own Gantt Chart. (Again, the chart content is still in draft form, only offered as an illustration of how a Gantt Chart can be used.)
I rarely find time to pretty things up, however do enjoy a well presented document. These were great tools, quick to insert and very effective. A nice addition to my teaching tool kit without additional software, downloads, uploads etc.