Spring Cleaning

It's spring cleaning time in my classroom (are you in that mood, too?) and I'm sorting through all my anchor charts, taking some down to make room for others and deciding which ones to pass on to my intern.  (She graduates from USF next month... yay, Laura!)  So I took a picture of each just in case I need to make it again and need a little inspiration.  I'm posting them here in case you're "visual" like me and like to collect ideas for your anchor charts.  They're random and in no particular order... kind of like a flea market of charts!  :)

• "Dare to Prepare" is when we use background knowledge to think of what we already know about the topic.
• "Read Around the Word" is when we read the sentences that come before and after the word so we can try to understand it in context.
• "Choose a Substitute" is really a synonym strategy.  I ask the students to think of a word that would make sense in that spot.  It's a great way to figure out the meaning of the unknown word.
• "M & M Words" are words with multiple meanings.  I teach the children to think of the different meanings they already know for that word to see if it helps.

Oops!  There used to be "bullets" on the left side of this chart.  I must have cropped too quickly... it looks like I accidentally cut them off.  Trust that they were there.
(Otherwise, that's a little hard to read.)

This next anchor chart was actually made with some materials from my TPT store.  I use the characters, little songs, and other tips from the pack to introduce question words to my students at the beginning of the year.  As they become more proficient readers, they need this anchor chart less and less, but it's a great support for the first semester.

I'll add more photos as I continue to clean out.  Some people ask me where I get the giant sticky notes for my anchor charts, but I don't buy sticky notes that size.  (I'm not even sure you can.)  They're actually made from colored copy paper or cardstock and a special glue stick called a repositionable glue stick.  Elmer's makes them and they're SUPER COOL!  You just swipe it on the top edge of your paper and POOF... you've got a giant sticky note exactly the color you want it to be.  Use your imagination because you can make them any size (and shape) you want to!  

And... if you haven't seen this "fairly new" book by Marjorie Martinelli and Kristine Mraz, I highly recommend it.  It's full of great ideas and the authors even show you how to draw these little figures so you don't have to be intimidated by your charts. (I've met Marjorie a few times.  She works for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and she's very knowledgable about writing with young children.  I think you'll like her book.)  You can check it out on Amazon at the link below.

Your Turn:  Do you have a favorite resource you use when searching for anchor chart ideas?


  1. So many great anchor charts!! We love how simple they are to get most important message to our first grade kiddos! Thanks for sharing!!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

    1. Thanks. :) When I read the "Smarter Charts" book, it suggested making your anchor charts like advertisers make billboards. She suggested they not be too wordy... short enough to be read in a quick drive-by. The author also wrote, "Why do we have these giant long titles on the top of our anchor charts, like: Ways Authors Write Good Beginnings for Their Stories So They Can Hook the Reader. (Haha... too long.) She said, "Why not follow the 'Got Milk?' slogan and title your chart: Need a good beginning?" Short and sweet, like you could read it during a drive-by. ;)

  2. Wow! Amazing and helpful! Thank you.

  3. Thanks, Loralee! Have a great week! :)


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