Monday, March 26, 2012

Linking Up to Share Some Anchor Charts!

I am so excited to be linking up with Ladybug's Teacher Files to share some of my anchor charts.  I had a student help me out with the photos, so they aren't perfect - but hopefully you can still get the ideas from the charts.  I use Sharpie's Chart Paper markers for my charts because they don't fade and I love the bullet point tips.  I also get them laminated to protect them while they are hanging up.  (Which explains the shine in the pictures)  I hope you enjoy them and find them useful in your classroom!  And - it you want to pin them...feel free!  It would really make my day!

The most important anchor chart in my classroom is my Class Constitution.  We just re-wrote our constitution to get us back on track and this anchor chart features writing and art work by my lovely student teacher.  I try to limit our expectations to under 5 - since any more than that gets complicated.  We refer to this one on a daily basis, so it is hanging in a very prominent spot in our classroom.

In addition to our class constitution I have other anchor charts that have the expectations for various parts of our day posted.  I write these with the students and then post them to be referred to during those time periods.  These posters are based off of Fountas and Pinell's Guiding Readers and Writers, which provides the backbone to my reading and writing workshop.

Since I have a SMARTboard, I don't write up and anchor chart for each lesson - that information is usually on the board.  However, I wanted to keep everything we have covered visible to my students.  Thus I created the following board.  At the top it says "Active Readers..." and below are sentence strips with the teaching points from our lessons throughout the year.  My students are always amazed to see this board come to life over the course of the year.  Right now it is pretty unorganized...just a listing of the skills and strategies we've worked on.  However, thanks to Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher I think I might be switching it up to her CRAFT board next year!

 I love laminating my anchor charts and writing on them with dry erase markers...this is especially useful for small group instruction (or when my SMARTboard is broken...always a sad, sad day!)  I made this plot diagram to use with a small group.  We read a short text and outlined the elements of the plot.  Then they did it as a group without my help.  For some reason...using dry erase markers always makes an activity more fun!  

As for test prep, I tend to make a LOT of anchor charts during those times.  My principal believes that if you have anchor charts posted for awhile they will get burned into students memories.  Then, during the test they will look to see where they anchor charts used to be (we take them down during the test) and remember key information.  I don't know if that is really true - but it can't hurt, right?  So here are a few of my favorites from test prep...the beautiful handwriting is done by my student teacher.

The final anchor charts I am sharing are from my unit on figurative language.  This is a tie in unit between reading and writing.  We both read and write historical fiction, so students are identifying and analyzing figurative language as they read, while also incorporating this into their writing.  

 For my flashback poster I always put the key work (flashback) in orange to focus my students.  I like to include vocab hints to help them remember the meaning and the key phrases are essential in helping students identify and include this in their work.  

 In working with students on symbolism, always a hard topic, I start with a definition and some examples that are universal to all of us...hearts, a red cross, and of course Harry Potter.  Then students went back into their book groups and found examples from each historical fiction book they were reading.  During independent reading each group added their example on to the anchor chart and we shared these out during the close of the lesson.  Having all of these examples from their classmates really helped the students see symbolism in many different texts.

 My final anchor charts are for Theme...duh, duh, duh!  This is always a challenging topic to tackle.  I have one anchor chart that defines Theme and gives students prompts to think about.  The final anchor chart is a brainstorm of all sorts of possible themes to consider.  This really helps students, because sometimes the hardest part is naming the theme.  Once you put a name to it, it is easy to describe and support it.

I hope you like these!  I was super excited to share my charts and to link up to this great event.  All the other teachers have shared so many excellent ideas...I am proud to add mine to the mix.

Happy Reading!

~ Jenny


  1. Jenny:

    I loved this!

    I'm embarrassed to post after yours--but I linked first and peeked second. Oh well. Now you've inspired me.

    We are working on figurative language too, so your symbolism and hyperbole charts really caught my eye.

    YAY for you! Your charts are wonderful--and I got some great ideas. Thanks!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. I do agree with your principal, at least for students who are visual learners. I also like to put up charts because even if students aren't tracking me, wandering eyes at least land on something they can read and learn from.
    I love your charts and can't wait to create some myself!