I have seen and heard some pretty brilliant ideas on Pinterest and from other teachers. Ideas such as hanging them from chart stands or clothes racks so students can flip through, taking photos of them them and putting them in binders, or hanging them on rings from the wall. I need a way to have them accessible without having them on the wall (to make Mr. Fire Marshall happy). Plus, taking up as little space as possible is always a plus.
So, this is the idea I am going to try this year: THINK SMALL! I know, it's not what is usually said. But, I have decided to think outside the box of anchor charts. Who says they have to be made on giant chart paper? Are the anchor chart gods going to smite me if I go small?
Instead of creating them on chart paper and trying to figure out what to do with it, I am going to go small and utilize technology. I will create those charts on plain 8 1/2 x 11 paper, projecting it as I create it using my Elmo. Now, I can even use different colors or patterns of paper. Oh my! The creative possibilities are endless! Of course, this only works if you have access to a document camera, which I do. If you don't have one, you might want to look into grants or other possibilities to get one. Mine has become an invaluable teaching tool in my classroom.
Now, I will have created an anchor chart just the right size to slip into a sheet protector in a binder. I can organize them into different binders, or use dividers in one binder. I can even make black and white copies of each anchor chart to put in the same sheet protector in case multiple student need to reference the same anchor chart at once.
This year, I will be teaching three sections of fourth grade writing, plus one science/social studies, so most of my anchor charts will be writing. I plan to break them down into binders based on lesson topic, such as Writing Ideas, Grammar/Spelling, Revising Strategies, Prewriting Strategies, Editing Techniques, and Beginnings/Endings. I plan to keep the binders on a shelf alongside the mentor texts we use for each genre as well as dictionaries, thesauruses, and rhyming dictionaries. Then all the writing reference material will be in one spot.
A spin-off idea might be copying, shrinking, and laminating the charts. Then using binder rings to make a set for each table group. That would take a lot more work though. I think I will start with the create-through-projection-to-organized-binder idea, and direct students to the binders when they need resources.