Anchor Charts 101


Simple, visible and informational. Anchor Charts are visual aids to assist students throughout the unit cycle.


  • Visible
  • In order for the anchor chart to be effective, it is especially important that the posters are visible from every student’s seats.

  • Referable.
  • During direct instruction, do your best Vanna White impression. During scene rehearsal, ask the kids to check their understanding with the anchor chart. Leave the anchor chart up during the quiz or, in districts like Dallas ISD, your Demonstration of Learning. Let your scholars learn to use the resources around them by constantly and consistently referring to them.

  • Teachable.
  • When I introduce the topic, I introduce the poster. I think out loud while I walk through the activity to refer the poster. Students learn to consistently look at and reference the resources in their surroundings. Evaluators LOVE when they ask a student what they’re working on and the student gestures to the anchor chart on the wall to explain.

  • Constantly and Consistently Changeable
  • In my classroom, I use a large bulletin board to display the last unit I did, the present unit and then a teaser for the next unit. The bulletin board is in constant motion. I make it a big deal when I change my board the first few times! The kids think I’m ridiculous for being excited about new posters, but the kids notice and get excited! It’s a great hook.  Our anchor charts (while attractive and we surely won’t stop you) are not intended to be up year round; instead, they should move and flow with your unit cycles.


  • Lamination is protection, it also allows you to write on the posters with dry erase markers throughout the lesson! Great for teaching blocking on our stage directions  poster!

  • Hang them just above eye level. Less wear and tear from student movement.

  • Store them in a place you have access to. In my tiny portable, I use our smaller 11x17 poster size because it’s easy to store them in a filing cabinet drawer. In my husbands much larger room, he needs the 18x24 posters and keeps them rolled in a cabinet. Pinterest has great anchor chart storage ideas!

  • Punching holes in corners of the posters to hang onto hooks or gluing magnets to the back cuts down on staple holes over the years.

  • The more you enjoy your anchor charts, the more your students will enjoy them! We do our best to make them fun and engaging, all you’ve got to do is love them!

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