3-by-5 cards are really fun, and a great resource for learning in many different creative ways. Have you thought about what can you do to learn using a 3-by-5 cards?
One use I have figured out to help students with their independent reading is what I call the Three-Way-3-By-5-Card Method.
I want my students to choose to read, and to show me their efforts. I also want them to capture the new and interesting words they encounter, and I always want them to be able to get back to the page they left the last time they closed the book, so this method is an easy way for students to document and administer their reading accurately and handily using a simple 3-by-5 card. It all makes reading easier, so students are more likely to choose to read more often.
First, I teach students to get into the habit of having a 3-by-5 card and pen in hand whenever they read. On one side of the card the students make four columns along the five-inch width of the card. The columns are titled; Date/ Time/ Title/ Duration. That is, D/T/T/D, which is easy to remember. Eventually, the students will begin to put the title and author at the top of the card once along the three-inch edge to have room to document Date/ Time/ and Duration more times.
On the other side of the card, the students are ready to jot down challenging words they come across. It is important to include the page number to find the word again later. Often times the meaning of the words can be determined well enough from the context, so I do not have a rule forcing the students to stop and look up every new word. It is upon review of the list of new words, after the book is finished, that the students will determine whether they need to look up words.
All the while, the three-by-five card serves as a handy book mark, and ready straight edge for underlining, if underlining is permissible. There is the Three-Way-3-By-5 Card. When the book is finished, the students turn the cards in for credit, and eventually, the cards go back to the students. We discuss the words found. We discuss the story or information using the words as a jump-off point, and the books come more alive between us.
If you try this method with your students at school or your children at home, I would be interested in knowing how it worked. I would love to hear your feedback, so I encourage you to leave a comment.
We are at the beginning of the new school year. It ia a geat time to incorporate The Three-Way-3-by-5-Card independent reading method!