Never Underestimate the Power of Anchor Charts
If you have been teaching any time at all, you have multiple Christmas ornaments and other assorted Christmas trinkets from your precious little ones, who are so proud to bring you a wrinkly, wrapped Christmas package. One particular year a student brought me the yellow, glass ball pictured above which beckons the memories of one particular student–Christopher. His sandy, blond hair nearly dangled into his brown eyes. Christopher was intelligent, however he was one of those students when called upon who says, “oh, huh?”. I constantly had to redirect his attention to class discussions and to complete his work. During class one April day after testing I inquired of the class how many feet were in a mile. I must have called on at least 10 students letting them at least have a guess, but none of them coming anywhere close. When I called on Christopher, he said, “5,280″.
I asked, “Wow, Chris, how did you know that?”
He explained, “That chart you used to have there, “ pointing underneath the white board.
The chart Chris was speaking of was one that had been taken down because of testing. I had not put the chart back up, and the writing was very small for him to see from where he was sitting.
I tell this story over and over to teachers to let them know the power of anchor charts on their walls. Students must look somewhere when they are bored and tired of listening to the drone of the teacher’s voice, so they might as well absorb learning from their walled environment. Christopher’s ornament reminds me of this powerful lesson he taught me every time I pull it from the wrinkled tissue it’s wrapped in.