After about a month into my student teaching I realized that I didn't like making anchor charts. That was even more solidified shortly after I started teaching in my own room as well. And I've really hated trying to store those big easel-sized pads of paper. Here's the thing: I like making my anchor charts really neat and, yes, cute--I do teach first grade after all. But having to remake anchor chart after anchor chart gets far too time consuming. I also was noticing that my students weren't really utilizing them as a resource either.
The solution? Make anchor charts that I could reuse year after year (even if and when I switch to a different grade level) and find ways to have students interact with them as another resource in the classroom.
I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but I started simplifying my anchor charts--just down to the basic skeleton of the various graphic organizers we use in the classroom--and laminate them. This way they then turned into whiteboards that I could write on, erase, and use multiple times. I also could put them up on my other boards throughout the room that are magnetic. This way the kids could use them in new ways using their magnetic letter sets they each have, or with other magnetic activities I have for various lessons.
I'd thought I'd share a handful of some of our classroom's interactive anchor charts with you, and how I and the students use them throughout our learning.
A t-chart bucket filling and dipping chart that was used first for us to record our examples of real-life bucket filling and dipping actions. Then we used it again on the whiteboard with magnetic scenerio cards that students sorted into the appropriate side.
Making predictions (above) and forming questions (below) graphic organizers to be used with post-its or dry erase markers for multiple use.
Our K-W-L chart gets plenty of use for multiple units and lessons
And our vocabulary builder chart we used when the class was learning new, unfamiliar words