As much as I love using digital resources in my classroom, I have learned that sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned anchor chart! Anchor charts are so helpful for not only EL and SpEd students, but all students. Having a visual representation of concepts helps students recall information and be more confident during independent work time. Anchor charts are especially helpful for concepts that involve specific step-by-step processes. For example, long division!
There is only one aspect of anchor charts that I have struggled with (other than my obnoxious handwriting perfectionism…), and that is displaying and storing anchor charts. However, after trying many different methods, I have finally figured out an anchor chart teacher hack that really works! Also, the materials I have used to create this system are cost effective, which is a sweet bonus!
*Here’s the idea:
Anchor charts can take up a lot of wall space, be a pain to put up, and difficult to find storage for. I found that hanging up my anchor charts on hangers was a very effective solution to these problems! I simply attach my anchor charts to hangers with clothespins and then store them on a clothing rack from Walmart--links below!
When I need to display an anchor chart, I grab the one I need and hang it on my whiteboard with a little magnetic hook. When I want to display a different chart, I swap them out in 10 seconds or less! I have two magnetic hooks up on my board, so I can have two anchor charts up at one time, but can easily swap them out whenever needed.
*This solution has saved me so much time for multiple reasons:
I don’t spend time making my anchor charts look perfect because I know they will only be displayed on my whiteboards for short periods of time. Goodbye handwriting perfectionism! Thank goodness!
I don’t spend time hanging anchor charts on my walls! Thinking about how much time I would waste battling the slippery brick walls in my classroom makes this hack even more satisfying…
I don’t feel pressured to fill my anchor charts with a bunch of information because I can make as many anchor charts as I want! If I was displaying each of my anchor charts on my walls, I would only have space for 2 or 3. With this hack, I can have 15 anchor charts or more because I simply hang them up when I need them for specific units or lessons.
I can create anchor charts for specific times or periods throughout the year and easily switch them out. For example, I create anchor charts like: “Substitute Teacher Expectations,” “Indoor Recess Norms,” and “School Assembly Routine.”
*Here are the products you need for this teacher hack:
Walmart Clothes Rack
Click on this link to view this amazing Walmart clothing rack. It is easy to assemble and can be adjusted to different heights. It also has wheels, so you can easily move it around your classroom. For example, if you do small group instruction in a different area of the room than your whole group instruction, you can easily wheel your anchor charts around to where you need them throughout the day!
These are the strongest magnetic hooks that I have found! You can buy them at Lakeshore Learning. I got them on sale for $6 because there are so many great deals this time of year! Promo codes and coupons are also available year round at Lakeshore, so you shouldn’t have to pay full price!
This hack has truly been a game changer for me! It saves me time, space, and frustration, but most importantly it helps me reach the needs of my students. Which is the whole point, right?! :)
If you end up trying this anchor chart hack, let me know what you think by sending me a message over on Instagram @always.upper.elementary or tagging me in your posts! I would love to hear about how you like it! :)
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