Icon Wall from 2018-2019 school year

Where can I get a list of all the icons?

As I do presentations, especially my Creating with Littles session, this is a question that I often hear. Participants see my photograph of my icon wall and their eyes light up. What a simple idea- why hadn't they ever thought of it before? I know that feeling- when I first heard the idea of icon literacy in 2018 on the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast and connected with Pana Asavantana, I was inspired too! It was a solution to a huge teacher problem of mine. I didn't want to play Whack-a-Mole while working with my kindergarteners any more. But as I continue my journey in this work and continue to take the initial work I learned from Pana and make it my own, I have realized that this isn't about a beautiful list of icons on the wall, but rather a mindset that has now integrated itself into almost everything I do.

What do you mind it's a mindset?

A mindset is a way of thinking. As I get ready to begin Icon Literacy 3.0 ,(last year was definitely an anomaly) I now think in terms of using icons as I plan and integrate technology. In many ways, it is a language and by teaching my students this language, I help them to better navigate a digital world. Rather than being the sage on the stage, I empower them and give them agency over their learning. I help my students develop confidence that the answers are within them. I provide them scaffolds for learning that will help them as they continue learning.

So where should I start, if there isn't a "list"?

Great question- you start at the beginning. Consider what you want your students to start. When I work with my students, I start with day 1. What icons do I expect my learners to know on that first day? This varies based on their age. What I expect a fifth grade to know is very different from what I expect a kindergartener to know. I start the year with a relatively empty wall.

What am I expecting them to use on Day 1? I start with learning targets. Once I create learning targets with icons to post and review with students. I know where to start, Here is an example-

  • For my primary learners , I want them to learn how to log in during our first class. As I consider the first objective, I want to make sure that these students explicitly learn the icons for username and password. The icons for those words would then join my icon wall.

  • For my upper grade students, I expect them to already know the icons for username and password, but I still review those icons to make sure that we are on the same page. In this example, I also expect them to join our Google Classroom, so I would teach or review that icon as well. To join a Google Classroom, students will need to understand how to do that so I would also need to scaffold and review each step of how to access Google Classroom. In that case, students would need to recognize Google Chrome and the steps to access their drive and Google Classroom from their drive.

Need more support getting started...

I would love to help. Join me for a FREE Creating With Littles TRANSFORM Session on Saturday, August 21st from 10 AM-11 AM EST.

In this session, we will review the concepts behind icon literacy and help you to get started with this work by identifying what will best help you to promote icon literacy in your classroom.

This is not a one size fits all workshop- but a great place to get started:) To register, fill out the form on the left. If you can't attend at that time, let me know on the form and I would be happy to send you the recording and any resources shared.

I can't wait to see how we TRANSFORM learning!