Are 4th Grade I Can Statements still necessary? I’ll confess – I wasn’t a huge fan initially. But – after using them for many years – I realize that I use them a lot!
Here are the 3 most important ways I use them in my classroom:
1. Breaking Down the Standard with I Can Statements
Sometimes as educators we talk above our student’s level of understanding – especially when we abbreviate words or use acronyms. It’s hard to remember that our students aren’t walking around thinking about the main idea of a passage or equivalent fractions. That’s a teacher thing.
That’s why I like to break down the I Can Statement with my students before we begin the lesson.
- What are the verbs?
- What are the nouns?
- What exactly is it asking us to know, understand, and/or do?
Here’s how I do it:
- Get some chart paper that is big enough so that every student can see it.
- Write the I Can Statement on the chart paper.
- Read it to your students.
- Have them help you find the verbs and circle them.
- Now have them find the nouns and underline them.
- Call on students to give you synonyms for the verbs and nouns.
- Have students read the I Can Statements with the new synonyms
This is SO effective! They really understand what they are learning and what they should be able to do when they master the standard.
2. Setting learning goals with I Can Statements
How will you know if your students have mastered the standard that the I Can Statement is based on?
Giving formative assessments will give you that information pretty quickly if formatted correctly.
But, how can we get students to own this learning?
Setting goals with I Can Statements is an effective way to get buy-in from your students and to focus on what you want them to learn.
Here are a few ideas for this:
- Have them give you a thumbs up or down at the end of the lesson. (Now, this is not an actual assessment of their understanding, but it begins the process of ownership for students)
- Get a commitment from students. When do they think they master this standard? Be flexible. Not everyone can or will do it the first week.
- Post the I Can Statements and have students put a post-it note with the date they feel is when they mastered it OR if they feel they understood it in the context of what they are reading or working on today.
All of these are baby steps toward building that connection to their learning.
3. Using I Can Statements as Visual Reminders
One of the most effective practices I have learned to do over my time as a teacher is making the learning VISUAL and VISIBLE.
The effectiveness of this practice became very apparent during state testing. My students would gaze at the spot an anchor chart had hung during the school year even though it was no longer there. They could just “see” the clue words, or examples that had been there in order to answer a question on the test.
That solidified for me how important visual reminders are to students.
Using these prewritten I Can Statements for 4th Grade saves me hours of time every week of the school year. I use them after I have broken down the I Can Statements with my students. I post them on my reading bulletin board, in reading centers, and use them in my small group instruction. The best part is that I can use them over and over without having to write them out each time! HUGE TIME SAVER!
I use them in every subject area – English Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary), Math, Science, and Social Studies.
If you want to save a HUGE amount of time writing I Can Statements every week, grab this bundle! You will save 20% off the individual subjects! Plus they’re editable so you can make them exactly the way you want!
They are SO cute too! The colors will complement almost any classroom decor!
If you are departmentalized and need just one or two subjects – here are the links you need:
- I Can Statements 4th Grade ELA
- I Can Statements 4th Grade Math
- I Can Statements 4th Grade Science
- I Can Statements 4th Grade Social Studies
Want to learn more about using I Can Statements in the classroom? In this post, I share why you should Never Underestimate the Power of I Can Statements for Your Students.
Teaching 3rd grade? I have I Can Statements for you too!
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