Some pre-k teachers have been instructed to use K-W-L chart method and include different study theme ones in their professional teaching portfolio. The K-W-L charts can be embedded under the state teaching rubric for Standard III: Teachers know the content they teach, Standard IV: Teachers facilitate learning for their students and/or Standard V: Teachers reflect on their practice. The Standards will be different according to the state you live in and the method used to evaluate teachers.
The K-W-L chart method is used with the study theme selected for a week or longer depending on student’s interest on subject matter. K-W-L chart method will activate students’ prior background knowledge about the study theme and the beginning process to scaffold information as they ask questions then start to organize the results gained for daily, weekly or months experiments (Ogle, 1986). Teachers will have to locate a space in the learning environment to create a K-W-L chart using three separate columns by having three sheets of paper, purchase K-W-L chart, use butcher paper, or whatever supply is available to record students’ responses. K stands for “What we know”, W stands for “What we wonder”, and L stands for “What we have learned”.
As you engage in the K-W-L chart method the students will be prompted by their background knowledge on the study theme, stimulate future knowledge through experiences and enhancing vocabulary to articulate their thoughts toward adding information to the chart. Here are steps in using the K-W-L chart:
- Post a K-W-L chart. The chart displays the three columns with titles for each letter and dated. Write the title of the study theme and include different languages enhancing students’ knowledge in a different mode of learning.
- Complete the K column. During large group time introduce the study theme topic and ask students to share what they know on the subject. Record student’s responses and write their first name next to their statement. If the student’s shares information that is not correct, the teacher needs to politely help student move statement to the “W” column.
- Complete the W column. As part of the large group time conversation, record questions shared by the students of what they want to know or wonder about on the theme. From the listed questions, survey the students on at least one (1) questions posted to investigate and record results in the “L” column. The teacher will display different materials to assist students seek out the answer the question(s) using differentiation of instruction. Remember to write the student’s name next to their questions written.
- Complete the L column. As the study theme comes to closure, students will reflect on what they have learned with teachers recording name and statement.
It is suggested that this information is embedded in your classroom newsletter or website sharing with parents and parental guardians to know what their child has been learning and ideas that can be done at home to reinforce knowledge. The K-W-L chart is an educational tool that will enhance students’ learning when used effectively.