The one with the quality *gasp* inspiring (!) PD

Remember that time you went to a required professional development and it was actually worthwhile and informative? Last September, this happened. Not only did I learn something worthwhile, but it has inspired me several times over to create new learning projects. This glorious idea was a concept called lapbooks. While I’m sure this isn’t rocket science, it is a newer concept for me.

Using a file folder and printables, kids can cut and paste and explore their way through any topic. For December, we delved into snow and Snowflake Bentley. We researched snow and read the story about the man who first photographed snow. In our lapbooks, we worked on a glyph, found some vocabulary, asked questions, charted our new knowledge, created a timeline, and evaluated our story. So many things in one file folder! The best part- my students LOVED it! They wanted more. The lapbooks were amazing because they engaged my students and had them practicing a variety of skills. I was impressed at how well they comprehended our story.

My CCF lapbook! 

JGP lapbook 🙂 

As any good teacher knows, too much of a good thing can make it boring, so I held off creating more lapbooks until my five-years-in-the-making Roald Dahl author study.
I was able to create two lapbooks- one for James and the Giant Peach and one for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- which helped me to differentiate for the multiple groups in my classroom. We created fun covers for our books, delved into character traits, extensions (postcards from the peach and factory adventures), evaluated the novels, researched Roald Dahl’s life, and even practiced a little grammar. It was easy to pull a small reading group while others worked on their lapbooks. And the best part- my students still LOVED them! They wanted to make more of them.

I ended creating one more- an End of Year lapbook that worked to preserve our amazing memories of fourth grade. Plus, it was engaging during that final week of school (you know, when everyone is worn out and they have the attention span of a goldfish- including the teachers!).

The lapbooks have been so fun that I’m still finding more ways to incorporate them into my classroom. I’ve created lapbooks for so many of my favorite novels including: Matilda, The Westing Game, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and more! See what I’ve come up with here. 

Have you ever had an inspiring pd? 

Share it:


You might also like...