How to Create an Anchor Chart

Our teachers at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe have been working on creating purposeful anchor charts that assist students in their biliteracy, bilingüal and multicultural learning. Below you will find a few important things we would like to highlight when creating and thinking about anchor charts.

  1. Teachers are carefully planning how to arrange and display vocabulary words, once they have been introduced, in order to help guide students in building background knowledge and oracy, enhancing their reading comprehension, and producing stronger written products.
  2. During each biliteracy stage, teachers are incorporating higher order thinking (HOT) strategies and processes into their lessons. These skills are reflected in their anchor charts.
  3. Lastly, teachers are having students participate in the creation of the anchor charts and attaching work samples to make them more meaningful. We see how this interaction makes a difference in our students’ confidence and motivation towards learning.

Every day we are using and creating new charts. Below we will address some of the most frequently asked questions we get about charts.

What are the different types of charts?

Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli share the following categories of charts in their book Smarter Charts  (Mraz & Martinelli, 2012).

  • Routine
  • Strategy
  • Process
  • Exemplar
  • Genre

What do I put on my charts?

  • Clear visuals
  • Language matches readers and language of instruction
  • Color coding differentiates: Spanish (green) and English (blue)
  • Headings should be connected to skills and objectives
  • Questions encourage HOT processes and strategies
  • Specific and clear examples (at times including student examples)
  • Keep them concise- limit text

When do I take my charts down?

The wall space in our classrooms is like time, so valuable and very limited. As a result, some charts need to be retired to make space for new ones. Like I always say, “Your charts should not look like wallpaper in your room.” Content charts should be removed at the end of every unit. Certain reading and writing charts can remain on the walls, but others must be taken down. Some students made still need the support from those charts, so I recommend you take a photo of it and keep it in a binder for them to refer back to or you can make them a mini-version of the chart to keep at their desk or send home.  

We will leave you with this quote from Marjorie Martinelli and Kristi Mraz, “Charts are the footprints of teaching, and all charts gear towards growth mindsets because they say, “Look, here is a way to do this tricky thing (Chart Chums).  

For more information on charts and how families can use them at home, check out Marjorie and Kristi’s blog: Chart Chums.

Happy Thursday!

Claudia & Luz

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