Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Anchor Chart Crazy

If you've read my blog in the past- you know this about me already... I LOVE me some anchor charts!  I don't care for store-bought items.  Frankly, they become decorations rather than actual learning tools.   I've never been a teddy bear on the wall kind of teacher, anyway.

My journey with chart-making goes back to when I was student teaching (fade into dream/ memory sequence, perhaps some snazzy fog for effect).....

I was in a classroom that had A LOT of decor items, but none of which really spoke to what the children were learning.  Don't get me wrong, she was/is a great teacher, but I often felt a bit claustrophobic with the floor to ceiling store-bought charts.  In a perfect retail world, all charts would come in all decor combinations (at least that wouldn't be so bad).  About the same time, I attended a week-long seminar on Quantum Teaching (click HERE for more info).  I'm a brain-based learning junkie, so I loved the experience.

One of the over-reaching concepts that I learned was that "everything speaks".  This includes the learning environment.  What we put in our rooms and up on the walls speaks to what we value.  The environment should reflect the students and what they are learning (the purpose for the classroom).  We cannot go about this haphazardly.  Another concept is that "everything is on purpose".  I take these two concepts with me in all realms of education.

Flash back to the present (insert Wayne's World music, if so desired!)....

Over the summer, if stumbled upon a FAB.U.LOUS. blog by two great teachers: Chart Chums . Do you know this one?  It will change your teaching life!  They just came out with a new book that I have post-noted, highlighted, and written all over.

Click here for more info
This book can be applied to all subject areas- not just readers and writers workshop.  It's more of a design method, than a book of ideas.  Their work is based on brain-based ideas, along with marketing and design concepts. 

I wanted to see if my students actually noticed the difference.... last week, we had a big discussion on our charts.  They wanted to ditch the ones that I had made (along with them during instruction) and keep the ones with my drawings and/or photos.  That sold me!  I will now only be doing things the "Chart Chums" way.  It speaks to my students and that is what matters!


  1. I saw this book on Amazon and ordered it last Saturday. I can't wait to get it!! I'm going to check out their blog. Thanks for sharing!!
    Connie Anderson:)

  2. Darn! I just placed an Amazon order for Christmas books! Will need to go back for more now:) I also love anchor charts!! Thanks for posting this!

    Mrs Johnsons First Grade