Since Dave and I published the first edition of Mechanics Instruction That Sticks back in 2015, I have received emails from teachers asking me about classroom posters based on the sentence structures. Generally speaking, I don't ever want to be too prescriptive about anything. I'm a big believer in teacher autonomy: I hate to tell any colleague that he/she has to do things exactly the way that I would do them. Therefore, my response to these questions has been to tell the teachers to do whatever works for them in their classroom.
Unfortunately, over the past few years, this answer has become less reasonable The demands placed upon teachers have increased dramatically, and many, if not most, teachers are struggling to keep their heads above water. Designing some decent-looking posters takes quite a bit of time and some skill with Microsoft Word (in this case). You also have to think about how you're going to print the posters off and use them in the classroom.
Considering these factors, I have designed some posters that teachers can use in their classroom. The posters give students a visual model of the structure being studied, along with sample sentences that follow that model.
I've included posters for seventeen different model sentence structures. These structures include sentences containing commas, semicolons, colons, and dashes. They also include models designed to help students smoothly blend quotations into their papers.
Knowing that teachers need the printing process to be cost-efficient, I came up with a few different versions of the posters:
- Version 1: Tabloid Paper - Both the models and the sample sentences are printable on tabloid size paper (11 X 17). You should be able to print everything at school on tabloid paper. If you have access to a color printer, it will look prettier, but it's fine if you print in black & white.
- Version 2: Tabloid Paper for Structures, Letter Size for Sentences - The models are printable on tabloid size paper (11 X 17); the sample sentences are printable on letter size paper. I like this version because it makes it easier to group the models and sample sentences together on one piece of poster board.
- Version 3: Send to Print Service - If you have the ability to send files to a print service to be converted to posters at no cost to you, this version will work for you. In terms of size, 18 X 24 inch posters are big enough to be readable, but you could go a bit bigger if you so choose.
As far as hanging posters is concerned, do what makes sense to you. You might put all of the sentence structures you plan to teach on one wall, or you might just use hanging clips so you can put up posters as needed. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things.
I hope that these posters are helpful.
You'll get 17 posters, each in three versions