Monday, March 26, 2012

Anchor Chart Link-Up

So, I bet you came over here expecting to see a long list of buttons and thank you notes, but... NOPE! I am D-O-N-E ... Done with that assignment. (That doesn't make me less grateful, it just makes me glad that I completed SOMETHING!)

Today I am linking up with my sweet friend, Kristen, of Ladybug's Teaching Files, who has a Linky Party going on that invites you to share an anchor chart or two (or several!)
If you haven't been by to visit Kristin lately, you have GOT to see how she has revolutionized the teaching of CAFE and Daily 5.  That girl is a GENIUS!  And she is generous with her sharing too. I could look at those cute little circle cut-outs all day long!

At the moment, the anchor charts in my room focus mostly on reviewing for The Test.  I will post some of those later this week.  Today I am sharing two strategy charts that we have just revisited.

My students often distance themselves from their reading.  They seem to be more intent on turning pages and proclaiming (to my dismay) "DONE!" I feel like I am constantly asking them to engage with the text (and the characters when we are reading a narrative) and to think more deeply about what they are reading.

I urged them to go back to their September strategies: Ask Questions, Visualize, Determine Importance, Make Connections, etc. We had just read a story and were were making connections to the text.  Soon the whole discussion seemed to devolve into who had done the same thing as the author. They struggled, however, to make their connections support meaning-making in their reading.

We had been talking about a text which included the character's affection for her dog. One person had shared a connection--and then that connection inspired more "connections," and we moved further and further away from the text. Five minutes into the "discussion" and it was hard to remember what the TEXT was about. They weren't making connections that helped them make sense of the text!

The last three graphics are from DJ Inkers clipart

So we made two charts. First, we talked about the different kinds of connections we can make when we are reading.  This sparked the need to add Text-to-Media connections because that comes up a lot when sixth graders participate in a discussion. Then we discussed how the BEST connections bring you back to the text and help you make meaning. I simplified the concept so that all of my kids can understand the idea--even those with limited English skills.

I recopied the charts at home (because my on-the-spot printing is atrocious). You can't tell because of the poor lighting in our room, but the connections chart has little plastic "connecting" chain links--and the link back to the text has a glittered pathway. I never added sparkle to an anchor chart before.  I think I might like it!

This morning things went a little better. As our discussion was about to get sidetracked (again), one student suggested we were "getting off topic." Another added that we were "moving away from the text."

Suddenly sunshine flooded the room and I could hear angels singing... Okay, that didn't really happen. But I did point to the chart and ask them, "How does your connection help you understand the text?"

It's hard to get 'tweenagers to invest in their reading.  Maybe this strategy review will help draw them back into the text.


  1. OOOHHHH, I like the glitter! I may have to bling out some of my anchor charts! Great idea to get the kids interested and referencing the charts.

    Teaching in Room 6

  2. I love the glitter! And whether you printed it at school or copied it at home, I love your printing!!! :)
    PS I have been meaning to email you and say thank you for the owl clipart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  3. I love the glitter! I bet it really caught your students' eyes as well! Don't you just love that a-ha moment when a student really gets something and refers back to your lesson! One of my students did that the other week and I stopped my lesson, ran to my craft cabinet and quickly cut out a giant gold star for him to wear. I was just so excited! He was pretty pumped as well! By the way, I love adding text to media connections - so important in our digital age! Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is such an excellent chart. Every year, it starts out the same. "One time, I had a dog, and it died." Usually the dog in the book didn't even die!! So now I ask, "Is this a connection or just a story?" because they're 99% of the time just stories. I like the chart a LOT because of the "back to the text" arrow. Great chart!
    Buzzingwith Ms. B

  5. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I am freaking out over your gorgeous charts!! YOU are the genius--GLITTER?!?! It is true eye-catching, 3-dimeonsional perfection!

    Thank you for linking up...I am definitely going to have to bling out some future charts in our room, it's always the same old thing! And thanks for the sweet (as always) words--you always make me feel so happy because of your thoughtfulness. Ok, off to stare at those charts again!

  6. whoops, *dimensional! I was so excited I couldn't type properly!

  7. I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with you anchor charts. I think one of my favorite things is the glitter!! If I was in your classroom I would be hooked.


    The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate
    The Crazy Adventures of Two Quilters

  8. very nice!! I love the text to media (I always just kind of glump that in with the others!)....and that glitter is such a great touch! you're an inspiring teacher!!

  9. HOLY COW!!! Your anchor charts are beeee-U-tiful! Wow! Wish mine looked like that - no time to remake them, the kiddies have to live with my quick printing ... at least it's better than most of their's. ;)
    LOVE the text-to-media connection - need to include that.

    Runde's Room

  10. I love love love your charts! Can't wait to hop around and check out more posts! I'm a new follower : )

  11. I spy with my eye---pretty anchor charts! ;-)

  12. ok this is why I don't do anchor charts!!!! Seriously?!?!?! Yours look AMAZING!!!!! I have to tell you.... yes I teach the strategies too visualizing, questioning, making connections, BUT!!!! When I was a kid {and still now as an adult} I JUST wanted to read the book and enjoy it!!!! Not make such a big deal about breaking it down. My personal philosophy is that this is why kids don't like to read anymore. It became a chore and it's dreadful :( would you want to do it?!? So my dear time does not require any strategy reviewing... just good ol' reading for fun. They get to pick ANY book they want as long as it is "just right" for them.
    I'd like to thinking that I foster a community of readers by simply carving out the time for them to read and allowing them to actually enjoy reading. I think that the benefits of that far exceed the benefits of forcing them strategize.

    p.s. I've always made the text-to-media connection too because it seems to be the first one the kids come up with these day :) Great minds think alike!

    Kimmy you rock!!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  13. LOVE these charts!! As Kristin mentioned, I love your printing too!

    Your students are so lucky to have you! It's obvious you invest a lot of time and thinking to them.


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