Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Anchor Charts

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
The ones we use most often are the Reading Aloud chart, and the Rounding chart.
The Reading Aloud chart is based on this reading fluency exercise video by YouTube user TeachinginRoom6.
This is our actual chart:
This is our Rounding chart, base doff of many similar ones I’ve seen on the web, and the rhyme, ‘FOUR or less, let it rest; FIVE or more, raise the score’ and the concept of ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ numbers:
I have seen many others that I think we’ll eventually incorporate – charts for ‘good writers’ or a ‘writing lab’ for different types of writing assignments, charts for the periodic table and scientific procedure/ lab safety – lots of fun things to use! Do you use anchor charts in your homeschool?

Warmly,
~h

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