Anchor charts are one of the most effective teachingtools in education today. They’re excellent for summarizing the main idea of each topic you teach and boost students’ retention and recall.
And the great thing is, there are so many different ways to use anchor charts that you can come up with an approach that best suits your child’s learning style.
What is an anchor chart?
An anchor chart is an instructional tool, so named because it serves to “anchor” the learning in students’ brains.
With each key lesson you teach, you can create an anchor chart with your students detailing the most important content. There’s no strict guidelines or style that anchor charts should follow, it’s just a visual and easy way to catalog learning.
What are the benefits of using anchor charts?
As an educational tool, anchor charts serve so many purposes. You can create one at the beginning of a unit, to introduce a topic and lay the foundations for lessons. Or you can create one at the end of a project to solidify your child’s understanding of key concepts.
Anchor charts serve as reference material for kids to come back to if needed. For example, you can make an anchor chart of basic shapes when learning geometry, which your student can look to when completing future tasks.
Most students really benefit from seeing a big topic condensed into one colorful page; colors, shapes, and diagrams help make confusing subjects a little less overwhelming.
7 tips for making anchor charts in the classroom
Make them with your student
When learning tools are created by the students themselves, they’re way more likely to engage and actually remember the content at hand.
Make an anchor chart together at the end of a class, and in future when they look at it, it’ll trigger memories of the lesson itself. If their handwriting isn’t quite good enough to make a legible chart, get them to make a draft which you can transfer onto a final copy.
You want your anchor charts to be eye-catching and memorable, so don’t skimp on the color!
Get your students to help with the design and color choice — if you want, you could even have separate color schemes for each topic. Science is green, math is yellow, etc. If you’re not naturally artistic, here are some ideas to make your anchor charts as pretty as possible.
Add a frame
It sounds simple, but decorating the border of your chart will help draw attention to the content on the page. It can be a plain dashed or dotted border, or you could get fancy with a patterned design.
Think about the size
If you plan to display your anchor charts on the wall of your classroom, a regular printer paper size might be too small. For the important topics you might want to find some bigger paper sheets or cardboard for your charts.
A4 sheets are great for folders, though. So mix it up with your anchor chart sizes, too.
Pictures and words
Wherever possible, it’s best to use a combination of pictures and words on the same sheet. The more ways that a student can access information about a topic, the better.
Pictures on an anchor chart create an extra memory path in their brains back to the original lesson.
Don’t make it too crowded
You want to get as much info onto your anchor charts as possible — but don’t overdo it!
Aim to capture the key themes or concepts of a topic, which in turn will trigger the rest of the knowledge in your students’ brains. If an anchor chart is too busy, it’ll be hard to get any context from it at all.
Use them for some lessons but not all
Anchor charts are an excellent resource, but if you create one for every single lesson they can become a bit redundant. Choose the most important topics — the ones that lay a foundation for future lessons — and your anchor charts will have a much bigger impact.
Inspiration for effective anchor charts
Not sure where to begin with your anchor charts? These examples will give you a great starting point…
If you’re teaching a subject where students have to memorize a process, an anchor chart can be a great way to help teach it. Then stick it to your wall or leave it in a prominent place, so they can reference the chart any time they need to use the process — within a few days, they’ll have it committed to memory! It’s even better if you can use an acronym when setting out the process.
Anchor charts really come in handy during science classes, especially for any students who are visual learners.
If you’re learning about plants, you can draw a giant plant on your anchor chart and ask your students to help label it. Remember to make it colorful and fun — the more they look at it the quicker they’ll learn!
It can be hard for kids to get their heads around new terminology right away.
Whether you’re teaching new English grammar terms or mathematical lingo, you can make a colorful anchor chart listing all the words they need to learn.
Cause and Effect
Learning about cause and effect really lends itself to anchor charts because it can be so visual.
You can draw up an empty cause and effect chart, and then ask your student to come up with examples to illustrate and color together.
Reading and spelling
We can all agree that English is a tricky language, with plenty of strange spelling rules and silent letters.
Anchor charts will help your class conquer the most common sticking points: silent letters, homophones, diphthongs, vowels….the options are endless!
Anchor charts and main ideas — they’ll revolutionize your homeschool lesson plans!
Don’t your kid fall behind on the need-to-knows, just use nifty tips and tricks like these anchor charts to reaffirm the main ideas behind your homeschool sessions.
And while you’re at it, why not downloadable worksheets as lesson support, too? Check out our catalog of thousands of worksheets, right here.
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Link will appear as Ultimate Guide to Anchor Charts – How to Use Them in Your Homeschooling Practice + 5 Inspiring Ideas: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 24, 2020