Access to Academic Goods (PT2)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I love a good anchor chart. I seriously do! Anchor charts that are made by the students are even better. They're a reference source for students. Plenty of teachers use them. By use, I mean teachers have discussed with students the purpose of it, the content, and how to use it. If you're just making anchor charts to put up, that's a teaching 101 issue that you've got to solve immediately!

One of the ELA teachers I co-teach with uses anchor charts so well that it's tied into daily activities. In addition, students are actively using them and/or requesting them once they are put away. There has been plenty of times when students have asked us to take an anchor chart down so that they could see it or request that it gets taken out of storage to assist them.

Lets face it, once it gets placed in a hard to reach place, how do students use it when they can't see it? OR once it gets put away, what will students do then?

Take a picture of it or make an electronic version of it, of course! Honestly, I was making electronic copies of her anchor charts before students were requesting them. When we met in the beginning of the year, she stated that she "uses a lot of anchor charts when she teaches, but she's been bad with laminating the good ones."

That statement was something I immediately wrote down. It's such a quick accommodation and/or modification to make an electronic copy or taking a picture of the anchor chart and printing it out. During that period, I learned that the student's behavior (booking it out of the room when he was frustrated) was triggered when he couldn't see something clearly. He completely shuts down.

What did I do to solve this? I made an electronic copy - yes, I typed out and made sure the anchor chart resembled what was posted in the room. Why didn't I just print out a picture? He can't see, what if he can't read my handwriting? Google Docs solved all these problems. I made it, shared it with my co-teacher, printed it, and glued it into his reading notebook. He consistently referred to it throughout the year since the teacher revisited "Themes" quite often. Also, if your student isn't reading at grade level, having an electronic version is super beneficial! It can be read aloud to them on the iPad!

I share all my modifications with my co-teacher via Google Drive.
Here's an example of what I did for that ELA class: 

An anchor chart my co-teacher and our students made.
The electronic version I made for the students.

I've seen teachers on Pinterest make binders with anchor charts for the entire year. They have it out as a reference binder for students to use. Another Learning Specialist in the building makes a "Math Binder" for her students. The binder idea is my goal for next year. Since I have a moving classroom (i.e. I follow the students), I'm all about making sure students know that my shared classroom (with other Learning Specialists) is open to every student - not just those with IEPs. I think having binders with anchor charts, for each class that I'm in, would really assist with pushing that idea out. In addition, students have something to reference once it's put away/ posted too high for them to see!

Have you tried this out? How did it work? Let me know your thoughts!


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