• Anchor Charts: Making Thinking Visible


    • Anchor charts build a culture of literacy in the classroom, as teachers and students make thinking

    visible by recording content, strategies, processes, cues, and guidelines during the learning process.

    • Posting anchor charts keeps relevant and current learning accessible to students to remind them of prior learning and to enable them to make connections as new learning happens.

    • Students refer to the charts and use them as tools as they answer questions, expand ideas, or contribute to discussions and problem-solving in class.

    Building Anchor Charts

    • Teachers model building anchor charts as they work with students to debrief strategies modeled in a mini-lesson.

    • Students add ideas to an anchor chart as they apply new learning, discover

    • interesting ideas, or develop useful strategies for problem-solving or skill application.

    • Teachers and students add to anchor charts as they debrief student work time, recording important facts, useful strategies, steps in a process, or quality criteria.

    • Students create anchor charts during small group and independent work to share with the rest of the class.

    Above: http://www.suite101.com

    A Note on Quality

    • Anchor charts contain only the most relevant or important information so as not to confuse students.

    • Post only those charts that reflect current learning and avoid distracting clutter—hang charts on clothes lines or set-up in distinct places of the room; rotate charts that are displayed to reflect most useful content.

    • Charts should be neat and organized, with simple icons and graphics to enhance their usefulness (avoid distracting, irrelevant details and stray marks).

    • Organization should support ease of understanding and be accordingly varied based on purpose.

    • Charts are best in simple darker earth tones that are easily visible (dark blue, dark green, purple, black and brown—use lighter colors for accents only).

    For a wide variety of sample anchor charts, see