Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chart it, Show it {October}


It was a Wednesday, a lovely half-day, and I was doing guided writing with a small group of 4 students on the carpet. We were only 2 weeks into the school year, and my students were still constantly coming up to me to ask questions, give predictions, tattle, and many other things.  Well that day was no different.

One student came up to me and asked me how to spell 'recess.' That's one of my least favorite things that students come up to me for, so that is why I make my classroom rich with text. It was so early on in the year, so I decided to help her sound out the letters. Before I even started, one of my guided writing students shot up from the carpet, rushed to shared writing anchor chart, and pointed at the word 'recess.'

The student yelled out, "It's here, recess," and continued to track the letters and sound them out. Even though my excited student yelled out and distracted every student in the room, my heart was still bursting with joy.

At that moment, I was knew that these anchor charts are way more than being a part of a lesson.  Once they are created in the class, posted somewhere in the room, and constantly being referred to, they transform into something much greater. This little story is the reason why I push hard for anchor charts in the room. Anchor charts are the Google for our students.


Here a student is using one of our anchor charts for a syllable activity that we were working on. I try to hang up some examples of writing from our writing workshops so the students have access to what good sentences look like.


The anchor charts are spread around the room, and I try to keep them neat and clean looking. I do not like a cluttered looking room, so I am very careful of this.  In our school, almost every teacher has anchor charts hanging, and you see them all of the place. Check with your school before you start posting anchor charts everywhere, because some schools are more relaxed on the fire codes compared to the others.


I have anchor charts hanging from the windows too! Our classrooms are still really bright despite that we have huge pieces of paper hanging in front of the windows.


When I did this 'Short a' anchor chart, I realized that I needed something more permanent because I eventually take anchor charts down, but these words are crucial to have up in the rooms all the time.  So I had another solution to my problem.


Here is my solution to that. I will keep those word family anchor charts up for the entire school year so the students have access to them all the time. 


The tape totally looks ugly, so please bypass that. :)


This short vowels anchor chart took us one week to complete.  Each day we wrote out words for a different vowel.  My students use them all the time! It will definitely be up for a while.


Every day I do a read-aloud and we learn about story elements and reading comprehension. This anchor chart is still in the process of being finished. So far, we have only discussed two of the four reasons why authors write. I reference this every day with every literature, and I can happily say that my students get it!


Here is another vowel anchor chart. My teacher friend taught me this song for vowels, so we wrote out the lyrics of the song on this anchor chart while we learned them. We sing it maybe once a day, and I track the words with a pointer. It is awesome! The vowel song lyrics are the following:

(Sung to Three Blind Mice)

A has two sounds 
A has two sounds
a a a (short)
a a a (long)

E has two sounds 
E has two sounds
e e e  (short)
e e e  (long)

I has two sounds 
I has two sounds
I I I (short)
I I I (long)

O has two sounds 
O has two sounds
o o o  (short)
o o o  (long)

U has two sounds 
U has two sounds
u u u  (short)
u u u  (long)


Not going to lie, this isn't the best Syllables anchor chart, but we were short on time, and we stuck to what we needed only. It may not be pretty, but the focus on creating these anchor charts are to keep is neat, not have too many words, have visuals, and to keep referencing them.


I always ask my students which anchor chart is their favorite in the week, and my students went crazy with this main idea one. We were learning about main idea, and we read a book on stick-insects. Very memorable!


Here I have a couple of different anchor charts that I use almost on a daily basis. At first, when I was teaching them the concept, we focused on one idea for the entire week, now that we have gone over them and have a better grasp of what they mean, I use them more quickly.  We use post its to update the poster with whatever read-aloud we have for the day. The vocabulary words are always there, and I've notice the students use them more often.


This one is very used as well.  It's a very simple Addition Strategies Anchor chart that we added to every time until we completed it.


I created a Word Problem of the Day product for my class, and I noticed that my students had a tough time with the subtraction word problems, so I helped them with this anchor chart. Those daily word problems are also a lot easier to complete with the addition/subtraction vocabulary anchor chart. 

As you may have noticed, my anchor charts aren't glittery, but they are simple and hand-drawn.  It's amazing to see how something so simply makes an impact on our students' success. 

I can't wait to see your classrooms' anchor charts. 

Link-up Procedures: 
Link up down below, and be sure to include the Chart It, Show It Graphic at the top of these post. 
Thank you!

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