Monday, June 24, 2013

Love Me A Good Anchor Chart!

I made something! So I'm linking up for my first Make-It Monday post!!

Like I said yesterday, with such a young group (Pre-K) I really need to keep my circle time interactive and have lot and LOTS of visuals. The problem I came across last year was my easel pad... I loved being able to make lists and graphs with the kiddos but, well, I didn't have an easel to put the easel pad on. You can about imagine how that looked. *sigh*

Anyway, this year I wanted something that was low maintenance, kind of pretty and colorful, and that I didn't have to hold with one hand while trying to write on it with the other. So I made a little trip to Walmart and found these goodies:

Yes, that's a curtain rod!!
With this madness and a lot of tagboard, I was able to do this:

I had the whiteboard but needed something to hold all my markers. I found a simple, cheap little holder in the kitchen storage area and put it up with some of those nifty little Command picture hangers. Works like a charm!

Then I put my curtain rod up and used 3 shower curtain rings to hold up the posters. My favorite part is that the curtain rod keeps the posters far enough away from the wall that they can be easily flipped to access any of the posters without having to take them off the rings. Plus, they're still close enough to the wall that I can use the wall as a hard backing to writing on!! No more left arm falling asleep holding it while good ol' righty does it's thing!

Finally, I had to make sure that I was getting the most out of my new venture. So, I made up a bunch of the posters that I use most (blank of course), took them to Lakeshore, and laminated them all. Now, when we're in circle time, I can flip to the chart I need, and it's already made and ready to go!! Cuts my prep time down to nothing!!

What anchor charts do I use in Pre-K? Well, take a look:

We fill out our KWL chart at the beginning of each unit (the K and W portion) and the L at the end. It will be great to have it laminated so the writing will stay in tact until the end of a unit instead of having to keep track of a piece of easel paper!

This chart won't be used until a bit further into the year, but at least it's made and ready to go! We start off the year talking about title, author, illustrator and the parts of a book in relation to cover, spine, etc. I want them to get that down before talking about the story elements.

This chart will be used when we want to describe something like an animal or a community helper, etc. There's a sentence strip on top where I'll write something like "Bats" or "Firefighters" and then we can fill in the spaces below!

Ah, the classic Venn Diagram. Once again, this isn't used until further into the year, typically around the time we start with the story elements since we use it a lot to compare stories.

I know, this one is kind of... blah. But, it will get used A LOT! This is my blank graph. Say we want to know the most popular ocean animal. We might write dolphin, shark, starfish, and seahorse in the spaces on the bottom and then the kiddos get to come write their name above their favorite. Then we can total them up and see which had the most votes! The reason behind the blah? Flexibility. Simple as that. I wanted to be able to allow them to write their name without having to line it up with a number along the left. But I also wanted to be able to use it with pictures or what not so I left it blank!

This A to Z chart is one we use each unit. The kiddos help me think of different theme related items for each letter in an effort to get something for each. It really helps them work on their beginning letter sounds!

The "Welcome to Pre-K" sign will only be used one time per year (sadly). I will have this up when we have Meet the Teacher and, as part of our scavenger hunt (more about that another day), they will have to come over to the poster and do their best to write their name. Then, as the year progresses, we can look back on their first name writing and see how far they've come. It's a great confidence boost even for those that did OK writing their name at the beginning because they can always get better.

Ok, so this chart isn't completely prepped (I know, tsk tsk). In my defense, all I need to do is add some velcro to the squares and it will be ready to do! If you noticed in the picture of my whiteboard, I used magnets with letters A-D to do patterning last year. All I need to do is take the magnets off the back and replace them with velcro and those will be set! Then, each time we talk about patterning, I can make some cute little themed pieces to use with the letters.

This poster is modeled after a paper I found here. You roll a die 5 times, once for each column and that gives you 5 brain breaks to do! My kiddos will love this!!

Each week until winter break, the kiddos will learn 2 new letters. Each time we introduce a letter, they'll help me fill out this chart. It shows how to write the letter in the center, whether it's a vowel or a consonant,  if it's small/tall/falls, and what words start with it. Also, if you saw the post yesterday, there's an alphabet booklet that each child has in their calendar binder. It has a page for each letter so each child can draw a picture of something that starts with that letter and write the corresponding word.

Also, in yesterday's post, we talked about number sense and the kiddos learning that there are multiple ways numbers are represented. This poster talks about those ways (numerals, number word, ten frames, base ten blocks, tally marks, and objects) plus it talks about the number before, number after, and some addition/subtraction problems using that number.

It feels so nice to have these premade and ready to go. I can start the year knowing that the basics of my circle time are ready!

Katie Poyzer


  1. Super cute! Love the curtain rod. Thanks for sharing!

    I Love My Classroom

  2. What a great idea :) I love the curtain rod, perfect solution, and having all your charts already made is always a big help!!

    The Resource(ful) Room

  3. I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics. I love the curtain rod idea!! I'm going to put this on my to do list. I am a new follower.

    A Tender Teacher for Special Needs

  4. What a great idea... I wish I had more wall space! Dang!

  5. Fabulous! I love it and how genius of you! First the idea of the shower hangers and curtain rod then to make the posters...awesome!