“I can” statements have popped up everywhere in education. Variations on a theme, perhaps? After all, teachers have always identified the learning objectives in their lessons. The “I can” statement, however, gives it a student-friendly approach that kids can (hopefully) better understand.
Kicking It Up a Notch!
I started using “I can” statements very simply – just writing them at the top of my dry erase board. Following a recent summer PD session on developing assessment capable learners, I knew it was time for me to kick it up a notch with my “I can” statements. So I did. 🙂 First, I purchased a pocket chart in the size I wanted from Amazon. This one is 33″ x 13″ and fits perfectly inside my front bulletin board. Originally it was meant to display a class schedule, but I re-purposed it to hold my “I can” cards. My pocket chart is plenty big enough to hold several cards.
Next, I created a set of “I can” cards in PowerPoint with my cute fonts from Hello Literacy. The borders on both ends of the card are designed to run off the edge. That way when I printed them I not only used my full paper width, but it also meant less cutting. If your card stock is a little “curly” after printing, you can easily flatten it out by gently pressing the paper against the curl.
While I toyed with the idea of cute clip art and/or colorful borders (SOOOO tempting!!), in the end I kept everything black and white. I knew I would be printing a LOT of these and the cost of printing all those cards in color was too much for my budget. Another possibility was to print on colored paper, but even that idea was nixed for cost reasons. I did, however, print on white card stock so they are a bit sturdier than regular paper. Here’s what they look like as I get ready for a new school year!
Storing my “I can” cards is easy. I just keep them in the appropriate file folder or plastic page protector with the coordinating lesson.
“I Can” Cards Made Easy
You can make a set of “I can” cards for your own classroom. I have uploaded a free, editable version in PowerPoint to my Teachers Pay Teachers store – The Reflective Educator. I used the manual feed tray on my printer, but each printer is different so check which works best for you. If you own the Hello Literacy fonts then they should appear as is – otherwise you will have to spend some time adjusting the font to suit your own tastes. Depending on the length of your statement, you will also have to adjust your font size. I found most statements fit within the 58 to 66 point size, although longer statements forced me to go down to the 40’s.
Scooch and Bump
I learned two lessons the hard way and want to spare you that experience. First, when you type in your lesson identification (bottom left corner) you will need to scooch it in toward the middle about 5 spaces or so. Otherwise the text gets cut off. So, type in your text. Then align it vertically on the right with the border. Once it’s in place, hit your left arrow key five times. Easy. Second, it was necessary to bump up the “I can” statements so they’re not perfectly centered along the horizontal axis. If you do center them, then it’s very difficult to read the text when you have multiple cards placed in your pocket chart. So – scooch it in and bump it up!