Anchor charts

Anchor charts are created with students using chart paper and markers (or a white board/ SMARTboard) to convey the most important or relevant aspects of a concept. This keeps learning readily accessible to the students, creates a visible cue that triggers prior learning, and allows them to make connections to future learning.

Anchor charts in the classroom should:

  • Communicate the most current and useful learning content
  • Be created with the students in order to make thinking visible
  • Be referred to by students and used as tools for new learning
  • Be neat and organized
  • Review concepts and recognize future goals

These anchor charts should be posted in designated spaces within the classroom (e.g. clothesline, bulletin board) and rotated regularly so that current learning is represented.

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During practicum, I used this strategy regularly. The students were always involved in creating the anchor chart, as I was usually recording their thinking on chart paper during class discussions. For example, when we were reviewing multiplication (standard, lattice, partial products) and division (standard, partial quotients) strategies, we would solve a problem on chart paper as a class using a specific strategy. This chart paper would then be hung on the math bulletin board for the students to refer to as they were working independently. Anchor charts were also used during language arts to remind students of the characteristics of persuasive writing or the components of the APE strategy, for example. Thanks to associate teachers for some excellent anchor chart samples!

Newman L. (October 2010). Anchor charts: making thinking visible.

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