“Every sentence begins with a _____ and ends with a ______.” I repeated for the tenth time within a 30 minute writing lesson. Before I get to the 11th time, I reflected and kicked myself for not adding one thing to my lesson 20 minutes ago… AN ANCHOR CHART! An anchor chart could have easily saved my voice and my sanity for not only a teaching tool but also a visual reminder for students in future writing activities.
Have you ever utilized an anchor chart within a lesson? I know when I first started using anchor charts I immediately went to Reading Strategies and Writing rules. However, have you ever thought about incorporating them into your math class? What about your rules and expectations?!? I reached out to our Teaching Trailblazers through our amazing Facebook community! Thank you so much to our Fearless Kindergarten, Fearless First Grade, and Fearless Second Grade Trailblazers for all of these amazing chart examples!
Do’s and Don’ts of an Anchor Chart
- Create your anchor charts with your students.
- Scaffold your teaching with the anchor chart.
- Co-Create with the context of your lesson.
- Make it interactive whenever you can! Not only will this make it fun and engaging, but more likely students will remember the concept.
- Post your anchor chart in a central spot that your students can not only see, but access its content.
- Revisit the anchor chart frequently.
- Remind students to use the chart.
- Create the anchor chart prior, students will rarely use it or remember it is even on the wall.
- Leave them up for several months at a time.
- If students still need them after several weeks, then re-teaching of the subject matter is needed.
- Reuse your academic anchor charts year to year.
- Use more than two different colors on your Anchor Chart. It may become confusing, overstimulating, and lose some of the important information presented.
- Overcrowd! Limit the number of anchor charts that are hanging at the same time. You don’t want students to have to hunt for the chart that they need.
Reading Anchor Charts
From retelling to comprehension. Character development to key details. Anchor charts fit every category! Oftentimes you will have some visual learners sitting in front of you. What better way to pair your next reading strategy or lesson with an anchor chart?!? These anchor charts will pair so well with your next lesson on Story Elements, Retelling, Character Traits and so much more!
Anchor Charts for Grammar in the Primary Classroom
Thank you to our Teaching Trailblazers for these awesome anchor charts! I love creating anchor charts that pair well with posters. This allows students to not only see the main concept of the poster but then make it their own by adding examples!
Primary Anchor Charts for Writing
Are your students struggling with writing? Perhaps they are like my students who need CONSTANT reminders about sentence structure? Anchor charts may be the key to those reminders without exhausting and repeating yourself over and over and over again.
Okay, I may embarrass myself a bit here, but I never thought about incorporating anchor charts into Math. I incorporated a math focus wall in my classroom as well as the use of Math Posters. Wow! What a game-changer for me and my students though with some of these anchor chart ideas! I am making the comparing numbers one tomorrow!
Interactive Primary Anchor Charts
As an educator, I personally believe that anchor charts should be interactive. That is why I stated before I incorporate a lot of posters within my anchor charts. It is really taking an “I Do, We Do, You Do” approach. The “I Do” part is introducing/reviewing the poster. “We Do”, where we complete the anchor chart together, allowing students to write or stick a sticky note on the chart appropriately. Finally to the “You Do” part allowing your students to apply and generalize the concept to practice independently using the anchor charts as inspiration and reference.
More Anchor Charts
If all of the past amazing anchor charts weren’t enough for you – we are not done yet! You can easily take the anchor chart idea and apply it to other areas of education, not just academics! Looking for another activity to pair with reviewing your classroom rules and expectations? Anchor charts have you covered! Want to pair a poster/reminder about social skills? Anchor charts have you covered! Want to be like Paige T. and pair a visual to your Black History unit? Anchor charts have you covered!
Ideas for Storage:
Alright, so you just made a whole bunch of anchor charts using the above for inspiration! Awesome! However, now what? What do I do with all of these posters and charts? The next question you will ask yourself is how will I store these posters/charts I made? Yes, these anchor charts you want to remake with your students every school year; however, you will definitely want to keep them.
Show next year’s class for inspiration, share your creations with other teachers in a community like Education to the Core’s Fearless groups on Facebook, and use them for reviewing the concept throughout the remainder of the year!
So let’s talk storage…
Think about some of the following ideas to keep your anchor charts looking their best year to year.
- Magnetic Curtain Rod
- Roll up inside wrapping paper tubes
- Storage Bag
- Clothes Hangers and Clothespins
- Closet organizers to hang (collapsable)
- Poster Display Rack
How do you incorporate anchor charts into your classroom? Have you created your own that you want to share with our Teaching Trailblazers? Share those pics below in the comments! Looking forward to seeing your creations!
Written by – Christopher Olson
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