A powerful tool used by teachers and students in the classroom is anchor charts. They provide consistent information that can be built up as the year progresses. If you aren’t using anchor charts, you should. Not only do they help your students learn important skills and concepts, they also coteach in the classroom!
THE POWER OF ANCHOR CHARTS
Several year ago, when I began teaching 6th grade middle school, I noticed the students were missing some critical skills in ELA/Reading. Creating a coherent sentence was not their forte, much less identification of grammar. Their ELA tests were in the toilet and they were bright kids. I knew they could communicate. They were talking all the time! Through this chatter, I decided they had something to say, and I was going to get it out of them through anchor charts, In other words, teaching with posters made by the teacher and class together.
An anchor chart is a tool that teachers use to support their strong instruction. It is a poster created to record and display important points about your lesson. They help students move forward through lessons taught in class. To begin, create anchor charts during instruction with class input. Effectively, each chart can be a year long document in the classroom or displayed during the current unit of study.
MAKE THINKING VISIBLE
Anchor charts are purposeful in building a culture of learning in the classroom. Teaching with posters help teachers and students make thinking visible by recording content, strategies, processes, cues and guidelines during the learning process. Students can refer to the charts and use them as they answer questions, brainstorm ideas, partake in discussions and problem solving. Displaying anchor charts keeps the learning relevant and reminds them of prior learning to help them build upon previous learning and make connections to build their schema.
THE BENEFITS OF ANCHOR CHARTS
Anchor charts are very beneficial in the classroom. Once I began making their learning visible, they began walking around the room and studying these charts. These charts provided a path for visual learners. Because the lesson involved them in the creation of the anchor chart, they were able to understand the charts and were more likely to reference them during class. For me, the anchor charts helped me stay focused on the lesson and became a valuable reteaching resource in the classroom. That’s why I am always using anchor charts as a powerful tool in student learning.
Mentor Sentences are a great way to get your class involved in Anchor Charts. Try this lesson plan to help!
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