Monday, July 23, 2012

easier anchor charts.

So many of you are in love with anchor charts. I see them on your blogs and all OVER Pinterest. But you have not see them on my blog because they are so intimidating!! I am not an artist and my attempts at being one are often thwarted.  You think I'm kidding?  Even in Draw Something I heart my stick people:
For real life. But there are so many amazing anchor charts out there that I have anchor envy!! Look at these...
{First Grade Wow}
{A Cupcake for the Teacher}
{The Inspired Apple}
{The First Grade Parade}
Now, if you're in my art-challenged boat, here are a few tips I've learned to make it somewhat easier: 

{use a transparency}
If you can't free hand, don't waste your time trying. Use a photocopy or print an image from the internet on a transparency. Then blow it up {doc cam, old-school overhead, whatever you have} to trace with a pencil and THEN color it in.

{print, cut, laminate}
Who says anchor charts have to be hand drawn?? Find an image that works, cut it out, laminate it & tape it to the chart.  Then draw & write your student responses around it.  When you're done displaying the chart, take off the image & save it for next year!

{use cutesy easier}
I loved Cara Carroll's readers & writers posters.  {ok, I love her everything.  She is the queen of cute stuff!}  But when I saw that these didn't require drawing, I decided to make an attempt. Mine are slightly different but I was able to make them AND be happy with the end result! Instead of great artistic skills, use lots of colors, little squiggles & an eye-catching shape to draw your kids in instead.

{See?  Huxtable doesn't care that there aren't any graphics!}
{make a poster}
If it's a skill that you really want your kids to grasp or you need it to stay up for a long time, save yourself the wall space & just make a poster. It'll stay on the wall with less tape, you can use super fun fonts & it won't have any mistakes {for you perfectionists out there, not me of course!!} Bonus, then you can share it with all of us! ;)
{Zeeks's Zoo}
{back it on scrapbook paper}
Thanks to Erica's example, I will be backing EVERYTHING on scrapbook paper this year.  Instant cuteness!
{Erica Bohrer}
{glitter it up}
When all else fails, add some sparkle. They won't be able to see the flaws with bling in their eyes! ;)

26 comments:

  1. I'm with you! I love the pretty charts, but I don't have the ability to freehand them. I use my trusty overhead for that! I can create anything cute on the computer, but, that's where my talent ends. My students, however, think I'm a great drawer, so, go figure!

    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter
    luvyorkies@gmail.com

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  2. Love this post.I usually type mine and use clip art.

    ✣ Miss Nelson✣
    Miss Nelson’s Blog

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  3. Haha this post made me laugh! I'm so bad at making anchor charts too! I create mine in Print Shop on my computer. And your DrawSomething picture is better than mine are!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

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  4. There is a reason I am the Kinder teacher and not the art teacher HA! I do however love having the conversation with the kids while I'm attempting to create something about how it's ok to not be perfect. We also then talk about how we should give positive compliments on each others drawings (teacher included) and not laugh. I have found it helps that little one that has no confidence in their art to try and makes them feel protected from others making fun of them. I try to think out loud while I'm drawing to show them how to take an image in your head little by little.
    Sometimes I do go back and print out a picture to cover my own mess though :)

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    Replies
    1. Great point. Sometimes I laugh at myself to show them that it's ok make mistakes but other times I over-act the "Hmm....I'm thinking & trying my best" to teach them not to laugh at others who give it their all.

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  5. Don't worry, I can't draw to save my own life. My students giggle when I attempt to draw something but like little sweeties that are, they always tell me how it looks like the "real" thing and what a great artist I am. Trust me, I LOVE drawing stick people because I can't draw regular people.

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  6. I don't have an artistic bone in my body and also have anchor chart envy. I've pinned lots of them, but have only attempted to make a few. I'm going to try some of your ideas and see how they turn out. Thanks for sharing!
    Connie:)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Awesome Connie! Let me know if you do. Just find something that works for YOU and that's really what it comes down to. :)

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  7. I have a document camera, so I enlarge what I want, add the chart paper to my white board, and away I go. That way, I am working on the anchor chart WITH my students. Thanks for your suggestions!

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  8. I love this post...gives me some good ideas to dress up my boring ones...anchor chart envy? LOL

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  9. This is a great post!! I am artsy challenged & stick figures can be a challenge for me. I love these tips!
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  10. I'm new to anchor charts. Does anyone have a post that can give me the basics? Do you create as you go or premake them? Do they stay up all year, or just while covering that concept? I love how they look, and would love to figure how to use them in my classroom.

    Thanks in advance!

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    1. Totally up to you! I typically make mine as I'm teaching and don't spend too much time getting it to look nice. Anything I keep up all year I generally print out & keep them smaller. It depends on the concept you're covering & how long they'll need the reminder. I like to take stuff down & switch it up constantly so when we finish something I can move on to whatever's next. I gotta utilize the wall space I have! :)

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  11. Great post! You've given me hope and helped me get over my "anchor chart envy!"

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  12. Loved this post! I'm so with you so I love these tips. Thanks!!
    Shibahn
    www.landoflearning.wordpress.com

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  13. I ♥ U! I can't draw either, but my math anchor charts this year are going to be "glittered up" because of you! I laughed so hard at the end of your post! Thanks for the great ideas, but mostly the glitter!
    ~Fern

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    1. Fern, I can't wait to see them! :) Even your boys will love the sparkle. Trust me!

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  14. I'm in the same boat with Mindy Ross! I've been a teacher for 11 years, but this will be my first year using anchor charts. Is there anything out there like Anchor Charts 101 or Anchor Charts for Dummies to help those of us who are overwhelmed and worried?
    Thanks so much,
    Tanda
    tpatterson@seymourschool.net

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    Replies
    1. Not too worry. In my opinion, they're mostly just visual reminders or a way to display information. Just Google it & you'll see how vastly different they can be...but that's a good thing. Gives you flexibility & hopefully less anxiety! ;)

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  15. I'm also going to use old bulletin board displays that have cute "little people" on them as reusable anchor chart displays. I'm going to ask other teachers if they are discarding any of theirs and look for clearance ones at the local teacher store!!!
    ~Jane
    rsmiramo@smsd.org

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    1. So smart Jane!!! Just make sure you laminate them individually {not on the paper} so you can use them over & over for whatever you need!

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  16. I LOVE everything about this post!! There is so much great stuff packed in one post!!

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  17. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there that can't make cute anchor charts. The document camera/projector sure works wonders also for tracing (with a pencil of course) those cute letters some teachers can make freehand. I put the chart paper on the white board and trace away. Then I take it down, add outlines, fill in with crayons (and now will add some glitter). Then the kids and I can finish it together.

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    1. My one warning against crayons: they can sometimes melt in the laminator! I worked so hard on a project when student teaching then when it went through the heat the color melted & ran out of the lines. It was basically ruined. So color lightly or stick with markers if you're going to laminate it!

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  18. Don't worry ladies. I definitely DON'T think that cute charts have any influence on your teaching whatsoever. 99% of mine are spur of the moment...scribbles on blank chart paper...in the recycling bin as soon as the topic is finished. That's why I really like the idea of laminating a printed picture and just sticking it to the middle. Then I can use kid generated ideas on the outside instead of having it all done in advance. As long as it's showcasing the concept you're trying to teach - and it helps your kids remember - there's really no wrong way to do it!

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  19. I've done this before also!!! Works great. What I do now is find an electronic copy of what I want to draw and hook my computer up to a projector or doc camera. Then I project it onto paper that is clipped to my board. Then I just trace away. I take it down and color if needed. I've also found the best marker to use for coloring is BIC permanent markers. They don't bleed or run like Sharpies do!

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Thanks for the comments! {like virtual hugs}

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