Really Good Stuff® on Pinterest Really Good Stuff® on Facebook Really Good Stuff® on Twitter  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Shop reallygoodstuff.com

Common Core Standards and Anchor Charts

by Melanie Ralbusky, Monthly Columnist

Hello, to all of my sweet friends! This is Melanie from Schoolgirl Style. This month, I’ve been asked to blog about Common Core. Although I know quite a bit about Common Core from being a classroom teacher, my blog is about DECORATING! But, believe it or not, Common Core and classroom decorating DO go hand in hand!

I’ve had a ton of people email me and ask how I display anchor charts and tie curriculum into my beautiful classroom designs. From your end, I am sure that some of you are wondering if I only think about form rather than function. Well, you will probably be surprised to find out that I actually do think about function when creating a space for children!

When I stage classrooms in my home, these are for inspiration purposes only, so you aren’t really seeing the spaces that I reserved for the curriculum! When I decorate a “real” classroom, I take a lot of care to ensure that I’ve allowed space to display student work and also take into consideration how children learn.

We all know that a classroom should be filled with children’s work, as well as anchor charts that you’ve created with your students. The environment should be print-rich and display evidence of student learning.

If you take a look at my classroom from last year, you will notice that I purposely left my bulletin boards open for this reason. I also hung decorative frames on the plain cinderblock walls to display student work as opposed to leaving it empty. In addition, I hung two clotheslines in my classroom to hang my children’s masterpieces – this allows for quick changes of displayed work from month to month. Lastly, I had several large spaces outside of my classroom that I used to show off my student’s writing and themed projects for the entire school to see!

As for anchor charts, my classroom didn’t lend itself to large open spaces at the children’s eye level to display. This was quite a problem since we had a ton of anchor charts that we needed to review regularly. I had to be a little inventive when it came to displaying these. I came up with the idea to attach them with clothes hangers (the kind that had a clip on each end) and hang them from a portable metal clothes rack. This allowed me to find them quickly and the children could also have easy access to them as well. I have also been known to hang them from my bookcases when it was a necessity to review over and over for a period of time.

I like to think of my decorating/theme as the backdrop of the classroom – almost like the first layer. After school starts, the room belongs to my students. It should be filled with work, projects, and evidence of student learning. This is where you begin to layer the room with curriculum! The decorating and color combinations should take a backseat to what the children are learning. I don’t worry that my Halloween or Christmas decorations don’t really match my décor! The room should look FUN, child friendly, and that you are teaching!

Happy Decorating!

 

About the Author

Melanie is currently the owner/designer behind the classroom decorating blog, Schoolgirl Style.  She stages classroom themes, while also creating stylish printable classroom decor to coordinate with her designs.  Melanie is currently partnering with Creative Teaching Press to bring creative tips, ideas, and projects for teaching and learning into classrooms around the world.

 

 


Tags: ,
17 comments
Carole Saysanith
Carole Saysanith

I have limited space too and tons of anchor charts. I love your idea of the metal rack that is kid and teacher accessible.

Jo Ann Woods
Jo Ann Woods

I think anchor charts are so important, and the cuter the better. I think the students look at them more if they are appealing, and that is what we want.

Cheryl Conner
Cheryl Conner

I love the idea of hanging frames in my classroom to display anchor charts as well as the objectives and goals we are working on. Having an eye catching visual really helps my special education students really understand what we are working on and gives them a visual to help them explain what they are doing when visitors come in the classroom and ask.

Roberta
Roberta

I love these ideas on how to incorporate anchor charts in the classroom. Your idea of using a clothing rack was quite interesting and one that I might try this year! Thanks!

Chris
Chris

I agree that the room belongs to the children. At the beginning of the year I put up fabric and borders on the bulletin board walls in my room. The fabric is neutral and simple. I add just enough to make the room cheery for the students. But once we get to work, their work replaces my commercially made decorations. They take ownership in the room and are pleased to look at their accomplishments on display.

Kim Emory
Kim Emory

I keep the best student work from the previous year (sometimes years). These items decorate my classroom at the beginning of the year. I let the students know that their work will replace it, and the best work will be up next year. I still have previous students who visit my classroom to see "who" beat them. The reason the who is in quotes is that the names are on the back of the work.

Melissa Davis
Melissa Davis

I teach 5th grade and love anchor charts, especially for math! I have pinned many different anchor charts in all subjects and even a project to create your own chart stand out of PVC pipe. We are switching to full blown common core next year and I hope to use the storage system to keep myself organized better.

Amy Gosla
Amy Gosla

I love the idea of using hangars and a portable clothes rack for displaying anchor charts and other items for children. I have limited wall space. This will be perfect. Amy

Machele Martin
Machele Martin

These are great ideas to dress up anchor charts. I want to go dress up my room right now.

Lisa
Lisa

I love your displays...great idea! I teach one subject and currently have my standards/anchors/eligible content displayed on a poster, but may have to use your idea! Love it!

Twila Claycomb
Twila Claycomb

I hadn't thought to incorporate the common core standards into decorating in the classroom. thanks for all the great ideas.

Kristin
Kristin

We will be implementing common core next year, so I love to read everything I can from teachers already doing so!

Ellen-Marie Knehans
Ellen-Marie Knehans

I too like frames and fill in with work by the kids. I love the beginning of the year when I can find the "perfect" borders for my boards. We have Fire Marshall limitations on how much of the wall can be covered with paper etc. so I am very choosy. I love using clothespins to hang work because I don't make staple holes in student work and I don't tear student work by accident. I love the colorful clothespins from Really Good Stuff- I also use them for hot/cold lunch count.

Christy Bassett
Christy Bassett

I like the idea of hanging the charts on a rack for space savers - always a problem.

Adrienne
Adrienne

I have become an anchor chart queen!!!

Cheryl Monk
Cheryl Monk

I love using charts in my classroom. Your display of charts looks great. I teach 7th grade math and common core is on my list to get ready for.