5 For Friday: Anchor Charts!

I love a good, colorful anchor chart!  Anything that will help burn an image in my firsties’ brains to help them remember a concept is worth my time!
That’s why my room starts off “nekkid.”  Because I love adding anchor charts as we learn.  Very little of my wall gets covered in pre made materials….that end up as “decoration” and not something kids even USE!
So, I’ve linked up with Five for Friday to give you 5 of my favorite beginning of the year anchor charts I’ve used over the last two months of school!
1.  During our the first nine weeks, we have spent a lot of time perfecting narrative writing!  When, I first introduce this genre, I spend a good deal of time telling an elaborate story about going to McDonald’s and ordering a hamburger and getting one that’s missing a bun and has no cheese or toppings….you know, without all of the tasty toppings?  And then, it’s falling apart because it only has one bun….it’s a great attention grabber and has always worked so well for getting kids to add details, topic and conclusion sentences to make a full, tasty story!  It’s the perfect visual!  

Anchor Chart Tip:  I drew this one out years ago and laminated it and I just write over it with dry erase marker each year so I don’t have to recreate it.  I also have a finished, printable version in my Writers’ Workshop Anchor Chart BUNDLE for this and many others.  I use the digital copy to pull up on my smart board as we review during mini lessons once the anchor chart is posted.

2.  I have taught Writers’ Workshop the Lucy Caulkins’ way for years.  And I’ve revised it to make it my own…because some of her stuff just doesn’t work for me, some of it needs some revising for my classroom, and still some of it is….well, just PERFECT!

This anchor chart is straight out of her stuff and it’s one of my favorites!  Apart from academics, one of my core values of teaching is helping kids become independent.  Nobody likes nagging adults who need constant help….so we must start early to culture independence!  Charts like these are must haves in my room because they give kids a place to look whenever that all familiar, “I’m DOOOONNNNNEEE!” statement comes.  I never answer the question, “What do I do when I’m finished?” in writers’ workshop with any answer but, “When you’re done, you’ve just begun!”

I do 3 mini-lessons with this chart….one point per day.  And it works like a charm.  Immediately, first graders go about answering their own (and their friends’) questions about what to do when they finish!

3.  Here’s another anchor chart that I laminated to reuse every year.  It’s a tad on the old side, so I probably need to update it pretty soon!  I love talking about order words and balancing them out with “style.”  I want my kids to use order words, but not like a robot.  So we try to brainstorm words to signal the beginning, middle, and end, and talk about how we don’t have to use them every time, but enough to give the reader a since of sequence!

And, of course, we will have more words to add to this chart as the year moves along!  I also love using this chart to help us order narrative story puzzles with partners!

4.  In math at the beginning of the year, I use a ton of anchor charts to introduce the Standards for Math Practice (read about more of those charts HERE).  But here’s another chart that’s super important at the beginning of the year….that goes along with a standard that many teachers just refuse to teach because it’s too “wordy.”

Standards for Math Practice #2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.  Sure, those are fancy words, but all that really means is that I can write a number sentence or equation to show my thinking.  Abstractly = symbolically….Quantitatively = with numbers….so with symbols & numbers!  Here’s the chart I use to teach this one.

You can see it’s not finished….that’s because I add to this chart as we see these symbols come up during our CGI share time.  And for the first year in a long, long time, it is almost October, and no one has needed to use the multiplication sign.  Usually, when we solve multiplication problems, this symbol comes up…either because someone knows about it from an older sibling, or uses a + sign instead (ex: 10 + 3 = 30)…but not yet….so I’m just waiting.  I’m sure it will come!  The only reason it and the division symbol are even on there is because some kids mentioned it when we brainstormed symbols we use in math equations!

5.  And finally, measurement…. We’ve been working on linear measurement the couple of weeks and have been charting rules we’ve discovered are important to remember when we measure.  I usually give them the story of needing to teach my now 3 year old (*tear*) Cooper how to measure….and they LOVE finding easy ways to teach a “little kid” to measure!

What are your “Go To” anchor charts at the beginning of the year?

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