Yay! Anchor Charts! I absolutely love using anchor charts in my classroom! They help my students take ownership of their own learning, they are an engaging way to teach and they provide ongoing support in the classroom. In you are not using anchor charts in your classroom, I encourage you to give it a try! You will not be disappointed :0)
There are a few things I keep in mind when making a great anchor chart. You need to remember that this is something to hang in your classroom even after the lesson so that your students can refer back to it. It needs to be easy for them to “read” and “use”. Pictures that can give assistance are a must. The best thing that I have found is that as your students help you create the anchor chart, they are more apt to remember what is says!
When my students and I are making a new anchor chart, they need to be actively involved. Not only does it help with retention but also it reviews what they have been learning and is a great way to check for comprehension. I always have an idea in my mind of what the finished product will look like. Many times I will even make a “practice” chart for myself before hand so I can get a good idea of what I will create with the kids. But, you also need to be open to their ideas too!
I also make it a special time with my students. I love using Pacon Chart Paper and the Post-It Self Stick Easel Pad! We only use this special paper for anchor charts. I come onto the rug with the students as they gather around me and they know what we will be doing. I also try to make it a special time by using special markers. My kids absolutely love Mr. Sketch Scented Markers and I love using the washable version just in case :0) Incorporating all of these “special” things really helps the kids get excited about the resources we are making!
I hope these tips help and you will soon be on your way to creating amazing anchor charts in your classroom!