It's February! Can you believe it?! You only have 4ish more months until you are basking under the sun, resting, relaxing, and cherishing every bit of family time you get! While you are still in the classroom and teaching your little heart out, I wanted to share with you a little bit about how I prep and use anchor charts in my classroom!
First of all, here are my anchor chart necessities. It's really all very basic, but these are my tried and true materials that I keep going back to year after year!
1. I have a new found love for Post-It Note Anchor Chart paper. It's a little pricey BUT markers don't bleed through! AND, it has sticky on the back so you can just plop it right up on your board! There aren't any lines, but that's fine by me!
2. Mr. Sketch markers are my favorite to write with... it's an added bonus that they smell great! I like keeping thick and thin markers on hand.
3. Lined Chart paper is also nice to keep around because you can keep your writing nice and tidy!
4. Post it notes are CRUCIAL so that you can reuse your charts year after year!
5. Highlighter tape is great for when you are teaching a lesson. You can highlight words with the tape and remove it when finished. Think of highlighting rhymes, parts of speech, sight words, etc!
6. Cover-Up Tape=LIFESAVER! OMG, I still make errors on my charts... even after all these years! No need to start over... you can just cover it up with a piece of white tape. #bestillmyheart
7. If you are using thick paper then you can never have enough sharpies. They will definitely bleed through the thin paper #beware
Here are some of my anchor charts from over the years. I use them across all subject areas and keep them stored from year to year. I would share how I store them, but it's awful. Here's a great idea from Teaching With A Mountain View:
Some of these charts I make ahead of time, some on the spot, and some after a lesson. Many times I'll take a simple chart we did on the whiteboard and turn it into a "keep" chart later on. That way the chart has my students' ideas on it, but it's in a visually appealing format! Because, it's pretty much impossible to draw and color while teaching a lesson, ha!
A lot of the times I will prep the meat of the chart in advance, and then fill in the chart with brainstorming ideas while teaching the lesson. You'll see that in the turtles, valuable verbs, verbs, and pronoun charts below.
Lately I've been using sticky notes more and more. I realized that I was spending tons of time drawing and coloring and then having to chunk my charts! So, I started prepping the chart (and leaving space for sticky notes), laminating in advance, and then using the sticky notes with my students while the lesson is occurring. Now, I can just trash the sticky notes and keep the charts! That's a win-win!
For sure, the most meaningful charts are the ones that the students help create and make. Their ideas help to keep the charts personal for them. So, when in doubt, have your kiddos take the lead and the will surprise you more often than not!