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Put Down the Colored Pencils.

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

While I do have a penchant for Dixon Ticonderoga #2 yellow pencils, there is a close second. Thick, super high-quality colored pencils.

I received my first pack of these from an Art teacher friend of mine, and I have never looked back.

But I did have a moment where I thought I would have to temporarily give them up...

A couple of years ago, I attended a training as a participant; I don't particularly remember what the content was, but that is besides the point.

As I took my handout out of my folder, the trainer walked the room handing out highlighters.

When she reached our table, I politely said, "No thank you, I'm all set." in response to her offering. After all, I had my favorite thick, super high-quality colored pencils... in yellow and orange.

I was ready to go.

"I'm going to need you to use a highlighter to highlight your handout." And then she placed a yellow highlighter right there on top of my handout!

"No thank you, I'm all set." I then added: "I do not like the feel of highlighters or the sound that they make on my paper, so I am not going to use one. I'm going to use my yellow and orange colored pencils that better meet my needs."

Side bar: I had some sensory issues with the highlighter.

My point is, does it really matter how I define/draw attention to relevant information in my handout?!? NO!!

So, why do we insist on doing this with children? Do they all have to do everything exactly the same way? NO!!

Here are some options:

  • Use a highlighter

  • Use a colored pencil

  • Use a regular pencil

  • Use a crayon

  • Use a voice memo on a device to record important information

  • Use speech to text to input information into a computer or other device

You get my drift.

We must get to the point where we can authentically honor differences in learning, expression and engagement.

We are not all the same, so why should our tools and supports be?

We help with tools and supports at

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