Anchor charts are the lesson guides you create on large chart paper to outline what you are teaching. When you are creating those charts, think of ways they can engage students. Use bold colors and large print for important words. Think of what you want students to learn most and make that concept the main visual focal point of the anchor chart.
Anchor charts are also greatly enhanced by printing pictures and gluing them on to show what concept you are teaching in more detail or more visually. Finding engaging graphics or colorful math models will help keep your students interested as well.
Have students actively participate in creating anchor charts. During the lessons, invite students up to take the marker and solve problems. This is another way for students to be engaged in the creation of the charts. This will make them more apt to refer back to them and know where to look when they need help remembering how to solve a particular problem.
Keep your charts from previous lessons. Hang the charts in your classroom at a height students can easily see and refer back to them. Students may need to remember how to solve a problem and look up at the chart to follow the steps again. If you have a really awesome chart, have it laminated to keep and refer back to in the future.
Use math models and words to explain how a problem is solved. Outline the steps and draw as many details as you can. You can use models such as base ten blocks, ten frames, bar models, or number bonds.
It is a great resource to have number words posted in the classroom. The spelling of the number words can take a long time for students to grasp. With this resource, students can focus more on the mathematical concepts and be supported with the spelling.
Number Digit Cards
Hanging up number digit cards can help students who are having trouble with writing numbers reversed. This quick reference can give them the quick check they need before writing a number. Hanging the cards in numerical order can also help your students with a number line visual. Students use this concrete strategy for adding on or subtracting.
All of these components together help make up your room print. You want the room print to be thoughtful and purposeful. Too many extra materials can be a distraction and take away from the really helpful resources. Keep the room print current. Even though you may display previously learned concepts, display the ones that will be useful for upcoming lessons.
Create activities for students to use the room print. This can be done in the form of a scavenger hunt, read around the room assignment, or direct instruction to use the anchor charts or posters. This makes students aware of what valuable resources they have all around them. When you are teaching, point and refer to charts that are hanging that support your lesson. Students will know where to look for particular help in math.
Your room print is a valuable tool to help your students and also help you communicate with other teachers and administrators what you have been teaching in math. This helps you to display your tone and delivery of concepts. Get creative and have some fun!
- Classroom Teacher
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