blank'/> Promoting Success: Should You Use Anchor Charts in the Classroom for Math, Science and More?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Should You Use Anchor Charts in the Classroom for Math, Science and More?

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Note: This blog post contains resources from our TpT store and our Amazon Associate store.

Do you use anchor charts in your classroom? They are great learning tools for your classroom.


Why should you use anchor charts in math or any other content area?

1. They allow for students to have ownership over their learning and to "anchor" unknown topics to their own own experiences.

2. They keep learning and thinking visibly by recording content, strategies, cues, processes and/or guidelines.

3. They work well on a board for whole group learning, in a center for small groups or individually in an interactive notebook or attached to a desk.

4. They build on earlier learning. This learning may then be scaffolded for more independent demonstration of skills.

5. They allow for connections from one strategy to another.

6. They make thinking more permanent and visible. They are working documents.


How do you use anchor charts in the classroom?

1. Anchor charts work best if they are co-created with students.

2. They should have as single focus.

3. The should match the developmental level of the students, including the number of words and the size of the text.


What about pre-made anchor charts? 

1. Pre-made anchor charts may be just as effective if the students are involved in the reading and analysis of a pre-made chart.

2. If the chart is just hung on the wall expecting students to view it and "get" it, than students won't find success.

3. Pre-made charts should be demonstrated and discussed as if the teacher were drawing it out. Additional notes and modifications may be added and written on the chart. Key concepts may be highlighted or circled as they are discussed.

4. The pre-made chart saves some time and helps art detail.

5. It is recommended to cover the entire chart only revealing each step as they are discussed and explored with the students.

6. Another benefit of pre-made charts is that miniature copies may be made for the students' journals, interactive notebooks or as a visual reminder on their desktops.


Here is an example of a large anchor chart from our TpT store.

Please click HERE to see this math division anchor chart.

You will also receive smaller versions for journals, interactive notebooks or to place on the students' desks.

 printable math anchor charts for students


Are you unsure if pre-made anchor charts will work with your students? 

Here is a free math chart to give it a try.  Remember, you must read, analyze and discuss it with your students just as you would if you weren't creating it in front of your students.

 free math anchor chart comparing numbers greater than less than alligator


You may also like these anchor charts from our TpT store:

 math fractions posters anchor charts


 Author's Purpose anchor chart literacy center posters reading comprehension strategy


 math division divisibility rules anchor charts posters centers


 PEMDAS 5th 6th grade order of operations math posters


You may also like these resources from our Amazon Associate store:

 anchor chart self stick paper for teacher classroom


 active interactive anchor charts


 how to use anchor charts in the classroom


 marcia tate engage the brain


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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find great resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!