Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. -Benjamin Franklin
One of the first things we do in kindergarten (besides learning where the bathroom is) is to create an anchor chart together. Anchor charts are charts that are created with the students to help them “anchor” their learning. We make one for every letter of the alphabet, we make one with our classmates names, we make one for how to listen, we make one for colors, one for numbers, and any other skill I would like them to use on a regular basis. We use them daily in our Reading and Writing Workshop activities.
My students love them and refer to them all throughout the day. They are engaged in the process of creating them so they take ownership in them. After a while, they know more of what is on the charts than I do. Space is a concern…and do I really need to leave a chart on Halloween words up all school year? Those questions are answered with the iPads. I find that I leave the alphabet charts up all year; however, seasonal charts, or special charts made for a specific activity do not have to stay up and take up valuable wall space. By photographing all of the anchor charts and syncing them out to the children’s iPads, they have the charts with them all year long regardless of whether they are on the wall or not.
A recent writing activity included writing about our families. After making the Family Words chart, they were able to refer to it all week as we discussed our families. We also wrote about foods we liked. By having the anchor chart, students were able to write about these foods. In a week or so, I can add these to their iPads and they will have access to these words even if I take these charts down.
Another advantage of having these charts on the iPads is that students don’t have to walk across the room to see them if they are writing something and need a word. The charts are also available if students are reading on their iPads and would like to read the charts. It is like Read the Room, only it is done in their seats.
If you aren’t using anchor charts, I highly recommend them. They are quick and easy but they pack a powerful punch. Parents can even make them at home and post on the refrigerator or in the child’s room.
By involving the child in the learning, they create connections that are critical for mastery of skills.
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