Sunday, May 30, 2010

Making Picture-Word Labels for Learning Environments -- A Simple How-To

Someone asked me what my actual picture-word labels look like for our Music and Movement area and how we made them.  Here's the low down:

  1. After deciding where things would go, I took pictures of each thing in its basket, drawer, etc.
  2. I uploaded the pictures onto our computer.
  3. Using Microsfot Publisher, I created a document much like that I use for Montessori three-part cards.  For each card, I inserted a small picture of a specific material.  Below, I typed the name of the material.
  4. I printed two copies of the document, "laminated" them with contact paper and cut them out.
  5. I put one picture-word label in the actual basket, drawer bottom, etc. that its corresponding material goes in and one on the outside of the cupboard or drawer or on the shelf that we put that container.  (This way, the kids (and Daddy for that matter!) know which material goes in which container and which container goes in which place.)
I find that this system works well for us in a home environment.  I think it would work in a classroom one, too, although I might suggest larger labels.

As a side note: I purposely made the cards small enough to fit nicely into baseball card page protector pockets.  That way, as I rearrange our home or switch out materials, I can simply take the tape off the backs of the cards before placing the cards into a three-ring binder full of pocket protectors.  Then, the kids can use this 3-ring binder to choose activities and supplies as I catalog more of them and get the binders organized.  (This is my hope, at least.)  A similar idea could work well in other home and school environments.

Likewise, I purposely made them three-part card style so that if I ever desire, I can use any of our picture-word label cards as nomenclature and matching ones as we move along with different homeschool endeavors.

I would love to hear how you label your home or classroom for ease of use, organization and future activities. please leave a comment.


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