Have you heard about anchor charts? An anchor chart is a chart that you make with your kids/students to help illustrate a concept. Once it’s created, the chart/poster is placed in an area so that it can be seen and referred to as needed.
I have seen many, many examples of anchor charts, and differing views on how they’re made. I’ve implemented a couple of techniques – from making them up before hand and presenting them to the kids, to working out a concept with the kids, taking notes and then making the final chart for display purposes. That seems to work better – making the chart together. I do admit to going online and finding an example of the chart I want to make and guiding the conversation in the right direction though!
A few months ago, I found a large wall chart pad at a school supplies store on clearance about bought it. Anchor chart pads are usually larger, but in a homeschool setting, this size creates smaller, more manageable sized charts that are idea for our space. The pad I use is a Bemiss Jason 24″ x 16″, 1.5″ ruled notepad, similar to this one at Amazon. We have a chalkboard on one wall and I just open the pad to the right chart and lean it against the board in the chalk tray.
Since we’ve been using anchor charts, I do think it’s helped. Most of them have some sort of catchy phrase to them that make the concept easy to remember. Some of our charts include:
- Reading Aloud (reading fluency chart)
- Reading Fluency (similar to our Reading Aloud chart, but less rhyme-ish. I actually like the Reading Aloud chart, used with the hand signs, better)
- Rounding Numbers
- Math Doubles (‘If you don’t know your doubles, you’re in ‘Double Trouble’)
- Math Strategies for Adding and Subtracting (8 ways to add and subtract: fingers, number line, abacus, tallies, memorize it, use a grid, count objects, put one number in your head and ‘add on’ or count the difference)
- Plot (like a roller coaster – beginning, middle (highest point), ending)
- Math Phrases (what phrases mean ‘to add’ – like ‘how many, altogether, plus… ‘subtract’ – remaining, left, take away, difference between… etc.)
- Math Fact Families