Anchor charts are a powerful teaching tool and an amazing resource for students. My students referred to them throughout the year to refresh their memory, double-check their work, and review essential skills. However, I began to notice that I was doing most of the work during our mini-lessons. This led me to think about how I could make them more interactive so students can be part of the teaching and learning process. After some trial and error, I’m excited to share five tips to make your anchor charts more engaging, effective, and interactive.
Tip 1: Plan your mini-lesson. Anchor charts are best used during mini-lessons, which are usually 10-15 minutes long. Determine what you’re going to cover in your mini-lesson and then design your chart to complement it.
Tip 2: Prepare! After you’ve determined what you’re going to include on your anchor chart, it’s time to prep. This is such an important part because it allows you to make every moment of your mini-lesson count. While prepping, focus on the framework of the anchor chart (titles, headings, interactions) and leave the actual content for the mini-lesson. Bonus Tip – Make your life easier by printing off titles and headings. It also makes them look consistent and polished.
Tip 3: Create anchor charts during mini-lessons with students. Using an anchor chart that was created prior to the students arriving limits their thinking, application, and investment in the lesson. Having the titles and headings on your charts prepared ahead of time allows you to get right to it.
Tip 4: Ensure students can interact with the charts. Students will lose interest if they’re only watching you write. Get students moving and contributing to the anchor chart. This increases ownership of the content and gets them to immediately apply what they’ve learned. Not sure how to do this? Check out my Parts of Speech Interactive Anchor Charts HERE. It has everything you need to create six interactive anchor charts with student interactions built in as well as lesson plans and independent practice sheets.
Tip 5: Display the anchor chart in an easy-to-access spot. Students will refer back to these so make sure they can easily see them. I found it best to group anchor charts by subject. If you have limited wall space, I recommend laminating your anchor charts and putting them on rings so students can flip through them.