Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anchor Charts in my Classroom

With only nine days left in the school year, I am reflecting on what worked best on my classroom walls. What anchor charts worked well...and what didn't. I believe classroom walls should be usable...not just frilly decorations. Beyond that, students should be involved in the creation of anchor charts that hang in the room.

Here are the anchor charts I saw students referencing most throughout the year:

As you can see, my most used anchor charts involve the active use of thinking skills. Math anchor charts change frequently throughout the year. However, here is one that stays up:

My students were involved in the creation of every one of these. Therefore they understood the thoughts and intent behind each one. They knew where to find them in the room, and referenced the charts frequently throughout the year.

Those anchor charts kept my classroom walls interactive and useful. Reflect on the resources on your class walls. What did students use most? What could you remove without them even noticing? I think I'll be making new charts just like the ones above next year. There are few other charts that won't be making an encore performance!

Do you use anchor charts? What do your favorites look like?


  1. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned the two key ideas for making charts successful - kid involvement in creating them and referring to them regularly. Have a wonderful summer break!

  2. I don't use them year so I did find your post helpful. I will repin it as well. Thank you! Irene

  3. I like using charts in my classroom but find that sometimes I don't know what to do with them once we've made them. I'm not sure where to put them up in the room and for how long to leave them there. I tried doing charts on the SmartBoard but I find that they're not visible enough when we need them. It seems like that extra step of going to the computer and looking for that chart that a child might need when another child may need something else, just doesn't fit with my idea of the purpose of charts in the classroom. I am going to rethink how I can better utilize charts in my classroom for the coming school year.

  4. I love this idea! As an upcoming teacher I am really interested in how to motivate kids and how to get them involved in the classroom. Having the students help in the process of making the charts is a great idea. It will make them excited about what they are learning and they will remember to reference them when they need help.

  5. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I'm enrolled in EDM 310 and was assigned to comment on your blog. I absolutely love charts! I think it is a great way to remind the students different strategies to solve problems and even use critical thinking. I love how you coded certain words too. I also agree that children should help create them! I really think that is a big factor in learning what is on the chart! I used charts in my classroom when i taught Kindergarten. We had a "nonsense" word chart to help with letter sounds. Also we had one for math to help with recognizing numbers. I have seen the math strategy chart before I will definitely have one in my classroom when I go back to teaching! They are so helpful and really gives children confidence instead of being afraid of asking for help. Great post!