WHY ANCHOR CHARTS ARE NEEDED:
Students have a shared sense of ownership over the content.
- Kid love to see their handwriting on the charts they create. They quickly point out to visitors which part was “theirs” and love to admire their part of the whole.
- If a chart falls down, students quickly work to get it back up in the prominent location.
Charts get used.
- Store purchased charts may look nice, but they are seldom used. When students build them, they are much more meaningful.
Visuals are engaging.
- They give visual reminders of what is expected, how to get there, and how to work it all out.
- They alleviate the need to ask questions which is especially helpful if a child is too shy to ask.
- They can pique interest in a topic when used as an activator.
TYPES OF ANCHOR CHARTS:
There are four basic types of charts that teachers use. They include charts for rituals, toolbox charts, classification charts, and interactive charts.
Ritual charts are those that share routines for the class. They are typically created at the beginning of the year and remain posted throughout the year as class norms and routines.
Toolbox charts are used for skill modeling whenever challenges arise. These charts typically include problem solving steps or the routine. (How-to)
Classification charts are typically a little more interactive and can be used with multiple articles or books for practice. Sticky notes are used to gather information for the charts. Classification charts are used for genre studies, to compare/contrast books, to collect big ideas or important concepts about a topic, to form lists, to clarify misunderstandings, or to introduce new topics (brainstorming), and they work any time of year.
Interactive charts are the last type, and guess what?? They are reusable. These charts include a framework, but students contribute the “meat” of the content. They are made in a collaborative fashion with the students while the teacher uses the “Think Aloud” process to help students deconstruct the text. These charts provide exemplars and work with sticky notes of various sizes. The sticky notes can be removed to allow the chart to be used with other texts in other lessons too.