Tag Archives: #classroommanagement #endofyearreflection

Anchor Charts are Enchanting: An end of year Reflection

what is in my desk
This anchor chart made “desk check” easy in a first grade classroom. I had trouble with kids putting things in their desk they didn’t need, and not having the things they did. It’s obvious that you should have a book bag and a writing folder, or something has gone wrong. It’s also obvious that “little toy Lego man” is not supposed to be in your desk. 

I have trouble letting go of my students at the end of the school year, and that’s not surprising.  What is surprising is my difficulty with throwing away old anchor charts.

My anchor charts, which are usually written with the students present and then decorated afterwards, remind me of students and lessons of the past.  I look at them and see the faces.  I remember how the lessons went.

Anchor charts are all about problems and solutions.  You see a rough spot in instruction — the students are having trouble doing whatever it is — and you make a chart to help them.

Seems too simple to be believed.  But I had kids in first grade who couldn’t keep their conduct folders straight.  This chart allowed them to see that the conduct chart is always on the left, the homework is always on the right.  Then, when I would go around at the end of the day, it was easy to make sure they had everything they needed to go home. 

Classroom management is a big reason that I write anchor charts.  It’s worthwhile to post on the wall what an expectation is.  But over the years I’ve felt that the biggest user of anchor charts is me.  I refer to them all day long.

As part of my garage clean out, I took pictures of all the anchor charts.  Now I’ve organized them into different topics.  And I’ve decided to post them here on the blog, in case they may be of help to someone.  The truth is, a lot of them are adaptations of other people’s charts or advice.  Some are, on the other hand, totally mine.  The ones I’m sharing today were a lot of help in a first grade class.