Anchor Charts

Management in the Active Classroom

Jill Znaczko's eighth-graders at the Expeditionary Learning Middle School in Syracuse, New York, use anchor charts to reinforce their process and content knowledge.

In this video, students and teachers are engaged with a protocol/engagement strategy from EL Education's grades 3-8 ELA curriculum.


- I am standing in front of this anchor chart. Can anyone tell me why?

- Because we’re gonna use that anchor chart to write our paragraph.

- Anchor charts are a tool I use all the time in the classroom and it really makes our thinking visible. We are gonna use this anchor chart to help us write this paragraph. Anchor charts can be created for many different reasons. Many are created so that students can follow a process that will make them successful in any problem-solving situation. So today we’re writing arguments. Today students used anchor charts to enhance their writing and as a basis to look for evidence that would support their arguments. We’re gonna follow these procedures to make sure we can write a short response. The anchor chart we used in class today supports students writing short responses. So we have a Vietnam War focus group, Civil Rights focus group, and World War II focus group. Where are you gonna gather your evidence for these arguments? Civil Rights, can you all point to where you might find your evidence? Students in my class also create their own anchor charts that would be supportive in their writing. They can look up at a glance to be reminded of the content we’re focused on in class. I’m gonna stick these up here just as a reminder to you. High-quality anchor charts use color and are very well-organized and easy to read so that students are naturally drawn to them and the information there is easily accessible. Please make sure you’re looking at your designated anchor charts to help you.

- I think they’re called anchor charts because they anchor my mind down on doing the work that’s supposed to be done.

- It helps you be more organized. You don’t just have to freewrite it. You can just, you have a structure to it.

- [Teacher] Some anchor charts may stay up all year and be referred to multiple times, whereas other anchor charts might be relevant to one unit and then would be taken down when a new unit or content study was entered.

- If we’re stuck on a writing piece and we don’t have any more evidence to use, we can look at an anchor chart to refresh the knowledge that we have.

- Anchor charts make it easier to find the evidence that you need without having to always go to the teacher. You can find it on your own.

- When anchor charts are posted, I find students ask me less questions and are able to guide their own learning.

- After you use this for a while, you end up getting used to it and memorizing the steps and everything.

- [Teacher] It becomes natural to them so they don’t depend on the anchor chart as often. I’m gonna ask you just to wrap up the sentence you are working on right now. If you could leave one pile of your writing in the center of the table.

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EL Education

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