One of my all-time favorite teaching tools…

Colored pens and markers make the classroom and coaching sessions differentiated.  I know what you are thinking differentiated?  How do colors of ink make things differentiated?  Well, there are three ways and counting.


*Coding & Encoding


Organization:  This means that when we are meeting our groups of students or teachers, we want to have the right materials and information at hand.  We do not have time to look around for needed items. We need it together and ready to go.  Using colored pens to stay organized – meetings, groups, curriculum, notes, everything is colored coded.  Even my staff meeting notes are colored-coded by new information, must do, add to the calendar, and discuss further.

As an Academic Coach, color-coding helps locate information on students and classrooms and what I am aiding with about each.  Notes left for teachers, students, or administration can be color-coded, just like staff notes.


Teacher Message
One to grow on:  

Coding & Encoding: When teaching in a whole group, a small group, and during presentations, color-coding allows for our brains to capture the information and make connections.  Color coding in front of students on the whiteboard, chart paper, under a document camera, and on a sticky note put information together using color helps our brains see and embed it for future use.  We also use those colors to encode the information or make a code so students of any age can prioritize the information.  This graphic organizer uses colors to break the information into groups: facts, description, locations, types, interesting details, parts of…, are just some of the color-coded labels.  All details belong to the central concept like gravity in this poster, or the Lincoln Memorial, any other piece of information being taught. 

Leveled: You probably already color code for leveling- your classroom library, reading groups, writing groups, and math groups.  Color-coding makes it easy for students and teachers to get the materials they need.  Students can gain independence by color-coding areas items, including schedules. 

Let’s face it, colored markers and pens are fun!  Students love to write their final version in various colors and posted around the room for all to admire.  We love the colors, and they love the colors!  My favorites right now are Flair Pens, Ultra Fine and Fine Tip Sharpies, Pilot’s Color-coded  Bottle 2 Penn, and Paper Mate’s InkJoy pens.  And of Mr. Sketch Scented markers!

Published by Curve Your Learning

Hi everyone, thank you for visiting! I'm Liz and the creator of Curve Your Learning and The Reading Curve. I created resources and drive teachers, coaches, and parents to increase student learning success. I have been in education for 17 years, have a multiple subject credential, M.S., a literacy certificate, and am working towards my Ed.D. At home, I am a boymom and wife of 16 years who loves to glamping, paddleboard, and have fun!

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