Thursday, September 22, 2016

How I Organize Learning with Anchor Charts!

As a Middle School Teacher, who blogs at Mrs. Spangler in the Middle, I am happy to tell you that this year, I am a 6th grade Language Arts Teacher!  In my area of the country, Language Arts focuses on writing.  Sure, we read, but we use that reading as a springboard for our writing.  So, as you can imagine, there are all kinds of things for us to remember.  How do I help keep it all organized?  I use anchor charts and "anchor walls".

I use an "anchor wall" to visually organize all the skills students need to learn!

This is my embedded assessment "anchor wall" where for each class we broke down the end of unit essay test to its specific pieces and parts.  I had pre-printed all these skills on sticky notes.  Then, we ranked our knowledge level to determine what we really needed to focus on in order to be able to successfully write one of the four essays.  So on this wall, since all the skills in the unit are all laid out on sticky notes, as we learn we can move them!  This is great for showing growth as well as tracking our learning.

An "anchor wall" for Essays!

This is my anchor wall for the 4 parts that all essays must have (Polestar Focus, Rules of Conventions, Organization, and Support.)

As you can see, I used the doors for my cabinets to display my anchor information and I build it one piece at a time as we learn that piece in class.  Students love the idea of becoming writing "pros" and I love having a way to display the key concepts of writing that we have been learning!

For other related concepts, I use anchor charts - some of which we create together in class:  

Informative Essay Anchor Chart with an easy to remember mnemonic for organization!Argumentative Essay Anchor Chart with an easy to remember mnemonic to help students learn the organization!  

I especially like these anchor charts because they give students a pattern to use as a foundation for their writing.   Naturally, I hand them near my PROS anchor wall.  Of course, I have other anchor charts for things like grammar and parts of speech.  I find that I use these instead of commercially bought posters most of the time!  Not to mention that they look great for Open House when I am talking about what we are learning and I can reference our charts and walls!

The best part is when the students look at them as we're working on something.  I love to see students use their tools!  And even though I have to cover them up during state testing, they will still look to where the charts are located as if they can somehow "see" them and remember.  

If you love anchor "walls" and charts as much as I do, then stop by and visit my Pinterest board for them:

How do you visually organize learning in your class?  Join in the conversation by commenting below.  

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I love the display with the movable sticky notes - very interactive!

  2. I love the display with the movable sticky notes - very interactive!

  3. How do you print on sticky note paper? Can you provide details?