Off and Running with Anchor Charts

Thursday, August 22, 2013

     While walking around the building this week, I have been so amazed at all the learning that goes on right from the start.  Everything is a "teachable moment" it seems that first week of school.  Everything we do as teachers sets the stage for learning, and watching you all set that stage has been quite a blessing for me.  I have been walking in and out of rooms, getting to see the kids back in action, and seeing you set that stage for the year.  One of the biggest factors in that seems to be the creation of anchor charts.  I wanted to share a few that I think will really make an impact on student performance.

      Miss Ravenhorst has these charts, plus three or so more like it, all in her meeting area.  These charts are interactive, with all students' individual responses posted on the chart.  The purpose for all the charts  in the area were to create a literate and trusting environment.  The charts pictured here are:
"Our classroom should be _____ everyday."
"School is important because ________."
"What do YOU need to do to be successful?"
The power in these charts is amazing, because it is setting a purpose for school.  Summer is over!  :)

     The ever important I chart.  Reading Workshop is nothing without stamina and independence, and one of the best ways to build those is to create and I chart for Read to Self.  At the beginning of the year, there are differences in that across the grade levels.  The first chart was found in 4BEBL.  It was in their meeting area, still on the easel where they created it, not far from their individual book baskets.  Since it is the first week and numbers have not yet been assigned, they marked their book boxes with a post it with names on it. What a great way to get the boxes started while they wait for their numbers to stabilize!  The second 2 charts were found in 1ME.  Mrs. Meyer was creating the I chart with the class, and at this particular moment all they were ready to write was "Sit by themselves."  Quite honestly, that takes quite some discussion all on its own in first grade.  What an important starting point!  Fill it in as the needs of the class allow, and just have them reflect on it as you go.  You can always keep coming back to your charts.

     The last 2 charts came from 3ROWA.  The one was something I had never seen before.  My Reading Life was the title, and the 2 columns are "Worst Reading Times" and "Best Reading Times."  They got it from the Lucy Calkins Building a Readerly Life unit.  The honesty in the chart was what struck me.  We all know that the kids need to know that reading is important, but being honest in saying that reading isn't always easy is quite the statement.  Reading is something that sometimes requires perseverance.
     Their second chart is actually for math!  Mrs. Waszak had created a Math Talks routine anchor chart.  I liked the visuals she put on the chart to help the kids remember the process.  I know that this blog is supposed to be for literacy, but I made an exception for this anchor chart.

     As you create anchor charts with your class, remember what the purpose is behind it.  If you do that, those charts will really matter to those kids, and they will be more likely to use them on their learning journey this year.

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