Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Anchor Chart Time!

Welcome to my revamped Totally Incredible Teachers blog.  I am an anchor chart junkie and this blog is dedicated to Totally Incredible Teachers that make great anchor charts and share them with the world.  This site is inspired by the teachers and those that love teaching our youth.  I love finding great anchor charts, but it seems that sometimes I have to search continuously.  I thought it would be a great idea to have them in one place and share them with others.  So, to all of you that love to create, want to create, or don't know exactly what to create when making an anchor chart, this blog is for you.

I know many of you are thinking?  Anchor Charts, one more thing to do as your paper work continues to pile up!!  But they do have a purpose!  Charts that are already created, don't give students the accountablitity like it does when you create it together, don't get me wrong, you don't need to create a chart for everything, but it does help TREMENDOUSLY.

Check out the chart from ESL AMPLIFIED. Their blog states; "Even beginner students can be held accountable for classroom rules and routines.  Simply point to the appropriate part of the diagram to remind students of the behavior you expect."

This is a great chart for all studentsat the beginning of the year.

Ok, I know what your are thinking now, and I felt the same way too, but they do make a difference and once you do them, they are DONE!!! Many teachers wonder what is the big deal about anchor charts?  It is something that takes more time and it is easier to just purchase a poster. Believe me, I too was a skeptic, but after using anchor charts with my third grade students for one school year, they have made a huge difference in their retention of concepts taught.

 Yes they really do help your students!

Here are some of the reasons anchor charts are useful in the classroom:

1.  It allows students to "see" the standards you are teaching instead of just hearing them.
2. Anchor charts allow your students to participate in the "teaching" as they are the experts and the ones you will get your information from for the anchor chart (so they think).
3.  Anchor charts are a good way for struggling readers to "read the room" because they remember the chart being created together as a class as they are reading the chart over and over.
4.  It is a great way to display the standards in your room for those who visit and want to know what is going on in your classroom.

When I use anchor charts I create them before the class has seen them.  I then laminate them for use the next year. I never show them the anchor chart I created until the following day. I introduce the standard and brainstorm with the classroom.  I will use the overhead or my white board for the brainstorming.  Some teachers create their actual anchor chart with the class, but I am pretty OCD when it comes to the charts and like them perfect.
The next day when I review the anchor chart, the students are excited to see what I have created from their "teaching" and input.  I always make sure I add important information to our  brainstorming list. This way when the students see the chart the next day, they are not surprised about items that are on the chart. I always take a picture of the anchor chart, print it out (in black and white) and have the students put it in their binder.  The reason I have it in their binder is so they can refer to it when needed.  They can reread them as much as they like during quiet time, or when they finish work. I don't have a lot of wall space available, so I keep only the most used anchor charts on the walls. Normally the charts I have hanging are the procedural charts for reader's workshop, writer's workshop, and our math workshop.  I store the other anchor charts on a shower rod I have hanging in my window.  (Pictures are coming soon)!


How many times of day do we say that?

Our featured chart of the day comes from Mrs. Terhune's First Grade Blog. Her blog is wonderful and she has shared a wealth of knowledge. The anchor chart below is simple, yet something we always work on with our students. I even think this would be a great chart to put on a large Popsicle stick (like a fan you have a church) and actually have it with you in the hall. This way you could just hold it up and remind them what they should be doing.  Thanks Amanda and be sure to visit her blog. Although it is a first grade blog, no matter what grade level you teach, you could still take many of her charts and adapt them to your class and specific grade level.  Happy Charting!!!

If you have created an anchor chart you would like to share, just send me an email and I will feature you on my blog and link your blog to mine!!!  Together we can educate using one chart at a time!!!

Have a great week.