A Beginner's Guide to Anchor Charts (2023)

If you've spent any time on Pinterest, you've probably been inundated with images of awesome classroom anchor graphics. If you're like me, you've probably already wondered how anyone has the time to make those charts look so pretty and still cook their kids' dinner, grade papers, write homework, do laundry... just drifting.

For many new teachers, the pressure of having a Pinterest-worthy classroom can be overwhelming with all the other things thrown their way. If this is your case, don't stress! Many first-year teachers enter the classroom eager to take on the new challenge, but not understanding much about how best to get the best possible performance from teaching tools like anchor charts.

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Today I'd like to share some background on what anchor charts are and how best to use them to support learning in your classroom. Whether you're a new teacher or a returning veteran, I hope you find some helpful tips and new information as you read.

This post may contain affiliate links.

What you will find on this page:

What is an anchor chart?

An anchor chart is a teaching tool that helps you visually capture important lesson information. They are created, at least in part, during instruction to help emphasize and reiterate important information, procedures, processes, or skills that are being taught.

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For example, if you are teaching students a problem-solving strategy to help them tackle multi-step problems, your chart might include process steps so students can refer to them as they solve problems.

Some anchor charts are interactive, which means students help complete them as part of the lesson by writing directly on the chart or using sticky notes. This can be a great tool to formatively assess student understanding during instruction.

(Video) Digital Anchor Charts: EVERYTHING Teachers Need to Know

You can use anchor graphics for any theme, and they are commonly seen inreading, writing and math classes. After class, the chart should remain visible for students to refer to during independent practice and in future classes.

Using anchor charts is a great way to actively engage students in lessons. You can use these charts to teach vocabulary, explain concepts, illustrate examples, and make the learning process fun and visually appealing for students.

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Anchor charts serve as a great support in the classroom, providing a visual reference that you and your students can review as you work through guided and independent practice.

While the charts are great for all students, they are especially useful for various groups of at-risk students. They offer students with attention problems a picture of the steps to guide them through a process. They can also provide English learners with a vocabulary reference andkey academic language.

You can also use graphics to help students retain important information and make connections between prior knowledge and new information. Research shows that this is key to helping students develop a stronger understanding of new material.

How to make an anchor chart with your students

As you prepare to make a chart for your class, you should have a plan for what information you want to include and how you envision it to be presented before you teach the class.

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Because your students must be involved in the actual creation process (either in a hands-on or verbal participation format), you don't want to create the entire chart in advance.

However, that doesn't mean you want to start the class from scratch!

You can prepare certain parts of your anchor chart, such as headings, charts, or questions you plan students to answer, ahead of time. This can allow you to focus more fully on the instructional portions during class, rather than trying to get everything on the page while your students watch you write.

This is what you need:

The best part is that you don't need a ton of supplies to make some really awesome anchor charts for your classroom. There are really only four things you need:

(Video) Anchor Chart to Explain Anchor Charts

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  • Large Graph Paper - I love thenotepads(affiliate link) because I can peel and stick.
  • Pencil
  • Markers: I prefer the wide Crayola markers and themr sketch markers(affiliate link)
  • Projector (optional) - Great for pulling images for tracking rather than trying to freehand graphics

During your mini-lesson, you can record student responses or allow them to record their ideas on sticky notes to add to the reference chart. You can also have students record their answers directly on the chart if you're feeling really brave.

Okay, but how do you make an anchor chart look good?

When you're new to creating anchor charts, the prospect of wanting everything to be perfect can be a bit overwhelming. First, no one expects Pinterest-level perfection like some of the examples you'll see below. This is especially true with the interactive anchor charts, which must be completed by students.

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here are someSimple tips to help keep things neat and organized when making your charts:

  1. Use your projector.Special fonts, graphics, etc. it can be displayed directly on the graph paper as you prepare the chart. Use a pencil to lightly trace the design to start.
  2. Start with a pencil.For charts that will be 100% teacher written, create a lightweight roadmap of where all the information will go. You can write about this with a marker during the lesson as you complete each section with your students.
  3. Stay simple.Trying to pack too much information into a chart can create a lot of confusion. Focus only on the most important details, and write large enough so that the student furthest from the table can still see the information.
  4. Use sticky notes for student responses.Although you can have students write on the chart, you can use the same chart for multiple years if students respond with sticky notes.

That said, if your anchor chart doesn't turn out exactly as you expected during class, you can always rewrite it at a later time to make it look better or more organized. However, I would save you time and only do this if it's an anchor graph that you plan to use consistently over time, because your plate is already WAY full.

How to hang an anchor poster in the classroom?

This can be a problem depending on the types of walls you have in your classroom. Cinder block walls tend to be especially tricky. More than once I have returned to my room after a long weekend to find all my posters and anchor graphics have fallen off while the air conditioning is turned off.

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That being said, there are several ways to display anchor charts that can help maximize their use. First, try to select an area that you will use consistently over time for each topic. This will help students develop the habit of referring to this area when seeking help or needing to verify information in the lesson.

Here are some options for hanging your anchor graphics:

Use a curtain rod.A skinny curtain rod with two metal hooks can be a great way to display anchor graphics. Add new graphics to the ring over time for easy reference.

Try the hooks.command hooksmimagnetic hooksboth can be great options, depending on your walls and whiteboard space. If you're in a portable classroom, magnetic hooks can really keep things organized and easy to move around when needed.

Poster frames can also be a great option.If you like things to look a little neater, cheapposter framesit can be a great alternative. Just make sure you get the correct size so they will fit correctly on the graph paper.

(Video) When & Why I Make Anchor Charts (part 1)

Use a pants hanger.You can easily place the poster inside the pants hanger. Then attach it to the top of a whiteboard, a locker, or a nail. Most stores will be happy to give you one for free if you say you're a teacher.

Use hot glue to help with the cinder block walls.Hot glue clothespins or hooks to cinder block walls. You can easily remove them later, but they won't come off like duct tape or putty.

Dedicate space to the bulletin board by creating a focus frame.Create a theme-based focus chart that includes vocabulary, patterns to cover, etc. Leave space to display your anchor graphics once you've created them. This creates a one-stop shop for students when they need to reference something for more information.

The 4 Most Popular Types of Anchor Charts

While there are many different types of anchor graphics out there, Pinterest can clearly show us. Most of the anchor charts you'll create for your classroom fall into one of four main categories. These four types are interactive charts, vocabulary charts, strategy charts, and procedural charts.

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Here's a bit more information on each type.

1. Interactive Anchor Charts

The interactive anchor charts are designed to be completed as part of the lesson process. They are a way for students to show their learning. These anchor graphics are usually designed in such a way that they can be used multiple times in one unit.

For example, when teaching a skill such as main idea and supporting details, the anchor chart could include the graphic organizer where students can add a main idea and supporting details using sticky notes from a reading the class did together.

Interactive anchor charts can be a great tool forformative heads.

2. Vocabulary anchor tables

This type of chart focuses on content area vocabulary. It often includes visual examples, definitions, and details that can help students apply the term to academic learning and conversation.

Here's a great example:

(Video) Spotlight Strategies - Using Anchor Charts pt 1

3. Strategy Charts

This type of chart is common in classrooms. They provide steps and strategies that students can refer to when working on assigned tasks. Designed as a form of scaffolding instruction, the Strategy Reference Charts present the step-by-step process the student must go through to implement the material taught in the lesson.

This often includes examples of work done as guided practice and graphic organizers, acronyms, or other tools students learned to use during their mini-lesson time.

4. Tables of classroom procedures

These charts remind students of classroom expectations. This can include theclassroom routines and procedures. It may also include how the student's work should be structured or completed before it is turned in.

Teachers sometimes create anchor charts to show note-taking expectations or add titles to assignments. The purpose of these charts is to make it easier for students to organize their assignments and materials in a way that helps them successfully complete classroom tasks.

The positive and negative aspects of visual aids

While the thought of creating a chart in front of your students may give them goosebumps, anchor charts offer several important benefits to student learning.

They not only provide visuals that help keep students engaged during the lesson, but also help facilitate self-directed learning. Instead of relying on the teacher to answer every question that arises, students can refer to the reference chart to enlighten them and reassure them that they are on the right track.

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However, it's important to remember that there can be too much of a good thing. It's important to prioritize what information you're putting on a specific chart, but it's also important to prioritize how many charts are in view at any given time.

Too many pictures in the classroom can be a huge disruption to learning.This means that instead of helping your struggling learners by giving them visual cues on how to complete the task at hand, you may end up making it more difficult because they get overwhelmed by too much visual stimuli.

(Video) Mrs. Call Creates | Digital Anchor Charts You Can Print!

Therefore, it is important to find a balance. As a new teacher, you may feel pressured to make an anchor chart for everything. Take the time to assess whether this is something your students will use over and over again. If not, feel free to release that pressure!


How do you make a good anchor chart? ›

How to Make An Anchor Chart
  1. Choose Learning Objective. The first step is to think about your learning objectives, teaching standards, and/or overall lesson ideas. ...
  2. Gather Materials. ...
  3. Draw an Outline and Title. ...
  4. Fill In the Anchor Chart With Students. ...
  5. Hang Completed Chart In Visible Place.

What are the three types of anchor charts? ›

There are three common types of anchor charts: procedural, process, and strategy. The hallmark of an organized classroom is how well the students follow the classroom routines.

What is an anchor chart examples? ›

An anchor chart is a poster created to record and display important points about your lesson. For example, if you are teaching a lesson on decoding strategies, your chart might include bullet points with different strategies children can try when stuck on a word.

What needs to be in an anchor chart? ›

5 Tips for Creating Anchor Charts That Actually Engage Students
  • 5 Steps to Creating Anchor Charts. ...
  • Start with an objective. ...
  • Make an outline or frame. ...
  • Add titles and headings. ...
  • Get input from your students. ...
  • Hang in a place where you can refer to it often.

What are the four keys to anchoring? ›

So the five keys to successful anchoring are Intensity, Timing, Uniqueness, Replicability, and Number of times.

What are the four steps to anchoring? ›

The Four Steps to Anchoring:
  • Have the person recall a past vivid experience.
  • Provide a specific stimulus at the peak (see chart below)
  • Change the person's state.
  • Set off the anchor to test.

What is the most common anchor? ›

The Delta is arguably the most popular anchor on boats today, and is the standard anchor of choice used by most boat manufacturers. It has a good holding power per pound (about 50% more than the Bruce).

What are the five 5 types of anchor? ›

Types of Anchors. We have sorted most of the common anchors into five major categories: The Hook, Plough, Fluke, Claw and Scoop.

What are the three main working principles for anchors? ›

There are six basic principles by which an anchor develops its holding power in concrete: friction, keying, threading, adhesion, welding to rebar, and embedding in concrete.

Are anchor charts necessary? ›

Anchor charts serve as a great scaffolded support in the classroom offering a visual reference that you and your students can look back at as you work through guided and independent practice. While charts are great for all learners, they are especially helpful for several groups of at-risk learners.

What is the difference between an anchor chart and a poster? ›

Anchor charts are a bit different than posters. Posters are typically created before a lesson. Although the teacher might have a pre-determined idea for an anchor chart, the content is not created until students are sitting with the teacher and able to contribute.

How do you read an anchor position? ›

Anchor chain direction

The direction of the chain is measured in two different ways: Clock format – The bow of the vessel (facing forward) is 12 o'clock, the extension of your arms is 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock accordingly, and the tail of the ship is 6 o'clock.

What should you check before anchoring? ›

Arriving at the anchoring position: Before anchoring, the direction and speed of the current or tidal stream and wind must be confirmed. Attempts should not, whenever possible, be made to anchor across the current, tidal stream or wind.

What makes a good anchor? ›

Strong physical stamina helps anchors maintain their energy levels throughout their shifts. They also must have a strong mental and emotional stamina to help them report news stories or current events that are emotionally challenging topics in a calm, empathetic and soothing manner.

What angle should an anchor be? ›

An anchor with a 120-degree angle, distributes 100% of the force to each anchor point. In order to keep the force on each anchor point from reaching dangerous levels, the angles formed by the sling or slings in your anchor system should never be greater than 60 degrees.

What is the formula for anchoring? ›

There are two commonly used formulas for calculating the length of cable to be paid out: Amount of cable required (in shackles) = 1 ½ √water depth in metres (Admiralty Manual of Seamanship) Minimum amount of cable required (in metres) = 4 x depth of water in metres (D J House – Seamanship Techniques)

How can I improve my anchoring skills? ›

NLP: How To Improve Your Anchoring Skills
  1. Make a list of the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory and gustatory anchors in your life. ...
  2. Notice anchors used by other people. ...
  3. Set a relaxation anchor for yourself in multiple modalities. ...
  4. Set an 'uptime anchor'. ...
  5. Covertly set a visual anchor.
Jul 19, 2016

What are anchoring tactics? ›

Anchoring refers to heavily focusing on the first price as a reference point throughout the negotiation process. In the context of a sale, the opening or initial offer is typically seen as an anchoring point. As a rep, your goal is to facilitate a smooth, efficient sales process.

What should be avoided when anchoring? ›

Never tie the line to the stern: the additional weight could bring on water. Slowly lower the anchor from the bow, rather than the stern, to avoid capsizing or swamping. When the anchor has hit bottom—and sufficient rode is given out—give a solid pull to set the anchor. Secure and adjust the line.

Do you anchor the front or back of a boat? ›

You should never drop your anchor from the stern of your boat. The stern, as you may already know, is the back of the boat. As the back of the boat sits lower into the water, adding the weight from the anchor could cause major issues.

How much anchor line should you use if the water is 20 feet deep? ›

As a general rule of thumb, your rode should be 7 to 10 times the depth of the water in which you will anchor.

What personality type is anchor? ›

Anchors are often described as practical, systematic, well organised, loyal and conservative. They tend to be endowed with copious amounts of common-sense and they're down to earth, self-disciplined, trustworthy and reliable. They are efficient and can generally be relied on to deliver on time.

What does an upside down anchor mean? ›

In early Rome upside down anchors would be etched on the mass graves of martyrs who were burned alive by Nero simply for being Christians. This was to symbolize their hope was not anchored on earth, but in heaven.

What is the most common anchor in the US? ›

The Delta is arguably the most popular anchor on boats today, and is the standard anchor of choice used by most boat manufacturers. It has a good holding power per pound (about 50% more than the Bruce). Both the Delta and the CQR perform well in most bottoms, struggling the most in rock.

What is the best anchor for a 26 ft boat? ›

Danforth, or fluke-style anchors, are the top choice for most recreational boats with overall lengths of 30' or less. Fluke anchors provide sufficient holding power considering their small size.

What size anchor for a 19 foot boat? ›

- 10 lb anchor - for boats up to 19' in winds up to 30 mph. It's a step up in size & weight, with a longer handle for penetrating hard bottoms. Generally boats in this size range have the smallest storage compartments in the bow, so storing it in a different compartment might be necessary.

What are the two types of anchor called? ›

There are two main types of anchors: temporary and permanent. A permanent anchor is called a mooring block and is not easily moved. A temporary anchor can be moved and is carried on the boat. When people talk about anchors, they are usually thinking about temporary anchors.

What is the minimum spacing between anchors? ›

Minimum Anchor Spacing

Generally, a spacing of 10 diameters between anchors is appropriate. For wedge and sleeve anchors, the spacing distance may be reduced by 50% provided the shear and tension values are reduced by 40%.

Does the weight of an anchor matter? ›

Generally, the bigger the anchor, the better, but the anchor's holding power in the bottom, rather than its weight, is what really matters. Always keep your ground tackle (the anchor and its rode, or line) ready to deploy at a moment's notice.

What paper is used for anchor charts? ›

Anchor chart features a heavy-duty paper construction to prevent inks from bleeding through from page to page. Unruled format offers a completely blank surface for endless creativity.

Should you laminate anchor charts? ›

If you laminate the charts when you're finished, then they can be used again and again. Now instead of making chart after chart, you can make a set and have them for the entire year! Laminating them also allows you to write on them using dry erase marker or easily add sticky notes for individual student responses.

How effective are anchor charts? ›

Anchor charts provide students with a source to reference when working on their own. They support students and also save teachers from having to spend classroom time going over concepts multiple times.

Why do teachers create anchor charts? ›

An anchor chart is an artifact of classroom learning. Like an anchor, it holds students' and teachers' thoughts, ideas and processes in place. Anchor charts can be displayed as reminders of prior learning and built upon over multiple lessons.

What does 4 shackles in the water mean? ›

A shackle is a unit of length and equal to 15 fathoms or 90 feet and is the standard length of a chain . >> In this condition the weight of 2 shackles is able to moor the ship. As the tide builds up the ship drifts aft picking up about two more shackles making the length of the catenary now to 4 shackles.

How do you know where to drop anchor? ›

Setting an Anchor

If possible first determine the water depth where you want to drop anchor, using a depth finder if one is on the boat. Water depth will determine the correct amount of anchor scope required; scope is the ratio of the length of the anchor rode you will want to pay out to the depth of the water.

What does 3 shackles in the water mean? ›

1 shackle = a length of cable or chain equal to 15 fathoms (90 feet or 27.432 meter). “3 shackles in the water” means that a ship has passed 3 shackles (of anchor chain) into the water. For a given depth under the ship you want to have 3 to 5 times that lenght of chain on the bottom of the sea.

What is the proper technique for anchoring? ›

Head slowly into the wind or current to a position upwind or upcurrent of where you actually want to end up. When you are at that position, stop the boat and slowly lower the anchor over the bow to the bottom. Never anchor from the stern as this can cause the boat to swamp.

What makes a good anchoring phenomenon? ›

A good anchor has relevant data, images, and text to engage students in the range of ideas students need to understand. It should allow them to use a broad sequence of science and engineering practices to learn science through first-hand or second-hand investigations.

What should you avoid anchoring? ›

Important. You should never anchor in, or otherwise obstruct passage through, channels or areas such as launching ramps or any other high-traffic areas.

What should be avoided when anchoring answer? ›

Never tie the line to the stern: the additional weight could bring on water. Slowly lower the anchor from the bow, rather than the stern, to avoid capsizing or swamping. When the anchor has hit bottom—and sufficient rode is given out—give a solid pull to set the anchor. Secure and adjust the line.

What is a high anchoring strategy? ›

When conditions are uncertain, high anchors draw our attention to the positive qualities of the item or individual (as in the case of a salary negotiation) being discussed, and low anchors draw attention to flaws, according to Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky.

What is the major danger of anchoring? ›

Loss of control is one of the most common dangers associated with stern anchoring. When a boat is anchored from the stern, it can drift away due to wind or current before being secured. This can cause difficulty in controlling where the boat goes, potentially leading to collisions with other boats or objects.

What is the best approach heading for anchoring? ›

Approach the anchor position heading into wind and tide with speed around 2 knots at 0.5NM from the position. Give Stern movement to stop the vessel over the ground once the vessel is in the anchoring position.

What is the best type of anchor line for most anchoring situations? ›

For most docking and anchor lines, standard nylon is a good choice. It has great strength, "gives" under load to absorb energy, and is relatively inexpensive. It's also easy to handle and resists the harmful effects of sunlight better than other synthetics. It's the rope of choice for anchoring rode.


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