Let me start out by simply saying: BUY the BOOK BELOW!!! If you get that much, just go click on the link below and get to processing your purchase. In 2 days (in between dealing with bronchitis, a daughter with a stomach virus, a sub that didn't like my sub plans, and figuring out how in the world to get my testing done) this book has CHANGED the way I plan to 'attack' Anchor Charts, my biggest foe.
I went from
Now all I have to do is implement the ideas in class this week!
The two biggest things I struggle with at school is 1) time management and expectations other than teaching and 2) great anchor charts. Because of #1 I don't have #2 and when trying for #2 I can't because of #1. Got that??
I have to admit that I HATE copying what other teachers do in their classroom <unless it is a really great idea hehe>. But, let me tell you, I have resorted a few times to having a print out of a great Anchor Chart beside me as I began one with my class. I used to think that was cheating. Then I thought it was probably helping me and my kiddos. And then I concluded, it was pretty dang smart because with it, my organization and the intent behind the chart would be out the door.
This year so far, when I haven't been testing <ahem> I have tried to make some 'neat' charts. I talk a lot about having sloppy copies and that I can go back <or we as a class can> to make the charts look nice later on. It rarely happens because of #1. It's not that I am a slacker....I keep telling this to myself....it is because I am a tester, nurse, social worker, 'wanna be' super hero that can save all kids, and I like to be innovative.
So....thus, started my search for learning how to do great Anchor Charts the first time around. And then....
I found Smarter Charts on the Amazon website the other day when checking out the F/P updates. I grabbed it right then because it looked like a great tool.
I couldn't wait to get it in the mail because there are some books that you just KNOW are going to help you. And I was write. I've had it for 2 days now and I keep reading it over and over, letting it all soak in. With all of its pictures and all, it is a very easy read, too.
In this book you get around 30-40 Anchor Chart ideas, complete with instructions and little ideas that help you go from Sloppy Copy to at least a Hang-able Change-able!!!
The authors, Margorie Martinelli and Kristine Mroz suggest:
1. A Good Chart Title
2. Use abstract material to make it understandable
3. Use pictures to grab attention
4. Use large post-its or color paper cut to size with a glue stick that lets you remove the paper
5. Use student work to show the goals of writers.
Long story short....you NEED this book!!
I've also been using my friend Courtney's anchor chart pack. You may want to check it out as well. Also, go see her blog at Swimming into Second!