Note catchers…I LOVE them. Well, to clarify — I love them when they aren’t collected for a grade or effort points and I love them when they aren’t used to “ding” kids for what they can’t do. Put another way, I LOVE note catchers that help students (and teachers) collect ideas and hold their thinking.
Note catchers are a great tool to get talk moving. That’s because the act of writing, before we share, gives us a dress rehearsal for what we want to say and how we might want to say it. Note catchers make our thinking visible. They are valuable because they become a place holder for our thinking, making our sharing (or talk) with others more efficient and effective.
If you are interested in an example, take a look at this note catcher. Maybe you’ll ask students to respond to something they read using this type of note catcher or maybe teachers will hold their thinking after reading a professional article. But, remember the important step of giving them time to share the ideas they collected on the note catcher with others.
Give this a whirl and see what you think — revise it and make it your own to fit your needs and purpose. Have fun!