How to Make an Anchor Chart What is an anchor chart? ​​ An anchor chart is more than just a poster. It is a teaching tool that “anchors” the key learning points for students.  Simply put, anchor charts are like the road map of what needs to be learned in a given topic or unit. Typically, an anchor chart provides a visual summary of the main ideas, strategies, and skills being discussed, so it can be used as a powerful teaching tool especially for younger or less familiar learners. Teachers can create their own anchor charts or they can use one that has been created for them by another teacher. How do you plan an anchor chart? 1. Determine Your Goal or Purpose Begin with the end in mind and consider your ultimate goal or purpose for the anchor chart. Ideally, you want the anchor chart to be something you reveal during your instruction that students will be able to reference on their own as a study tool as well. Three popular purposes for anchor charts include: Vocabulary Reference Con...
Teaching with anchor charts seems pretty straightforward, right?  Step 1: Make an anchor chart.  Step 2: Hang up the anchor chart.  Step 3: Leave the anchor chart hanging around your room all year and never refer to it again.  Believe it or not, there's more to an anchor chart than a cute decoration for your classroom.  Here are 6 Common Mistakes Teachers Make with Anchor Charts:  1. Creating on the fly  Just like most other parts of a lesson, anchor charts require planning ahead. This applies to both the content that is going to go onto the anchor chart as well as things like spacing and how you are going to group content in a meaningful way so that students can make sense of it on the page. There are some things you can pull off by flying by the seat of your pants, but coming up with a thoughtful, well-designed anchor chart off the top of your head while standing in front of a classroom filled with students is not one of them. Make a plan and stick to it!  2. Too much content  ...
Can I say something a little controversial? Just to be safe, lean in close because I am going to whisper ... I am not opposed to worksheets . Eek! I said it! I’ll wait by my door for the angry mob with pitchforks to arrive. Oh good, no one is here yet. So until then, let’s chat. In case you haven’t heard, worksheets have gotten a bad reputation and have been labeled by some as a poor resource for student learning. While I get where that argument comes from, I don’t think they are this shameful practice that no longer has a place in the classroom. Since we are being real, I’ll go one step further and admit that when I hear someone flat-out oppose all worksheets, I can’t help but wonder how far removed they are from the classroom. Do you know what I mean? Now, let me be clear before going on. When I say worksheets, I am NOT talking about those silly word searches or the other time-filling, busywork nonsense that I remember doing piles of as a kid. With the high expectations...