Today I'm excited to share ways to use anchor charts to decorate your classroom. So many of us have limited budgets, time and wall space. Creating your classroom environment with your students will lessen stress! More importantly, it will provide engaging and meaningful content to your classroom setting. The students will have ownership and refer back to the charts. I have seen my students look back to the wall where a chart once hung, as they worked on a classroom skill. As you head back to school, use these tips to reduce the stress of classroom decorating.
1. Only Decorate the Background and Border of your Bulletin BoardsBulletin boards are precious real estate. Use them to your advantage to immerse your students in learning. I love the clean look of this board, prepped and ready for students. (NOTE: All images are clickable and will direct you to the original post/site.)
|Credit: Life in First Grade|
Ideas for Bulletin Board Materials:Ideas for backgrounds:
- school furnished bulletin board paper on large rolls.
- gift wrap
- interior or exterior house paint
- newspaper comics
- fabric (so many bright colors in solids and prints. Fabrics are a bit more expensive but they last. They are also a great way to bring cohesion to your classroom if you use the same fabric or shades of color for curtains, etc.)
- felt (I purchased felt fabric because it was on sale in the solid color I wanted. It is wonderful. Holds up well and you can use velcro, tacks, or staples to attach to it.)
Ideas for borders:
- premade borders
Premade borders are available online and in stores. Here are some ideas with clickable links to the stores.
|Superhero themed classroom|
|Lemon and gray double sided border|
|Jigsaw: Perfect for cooperation, unity, and diversity|
Add a Banner:
How cute is this banner by Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten! You can grab her polka dot banners for "welcome, read, write, and word wall" free in her Teacher's Pay Teachers Store! (Click HERE)
2. Tips for Keeping Anchor Charts Evergreen and Decorative
I love this pin from the Pinspired Teacher. She has some terrific anchor chart tips on her blog.
- Laminate a bare bones copy of your anchor chart (minus the interactive element you do with the students.) Next year erase and reuse the same chart.
- Use post-it notes to add details and interactive pieces.
- Take photos, reduce the size, and use in interactive notebooks.
- Take photos and place them in a binder for easy reference for you and your current students.
|Credit:The Pinspired Teacher|
|Credit: Upper Elementary Snapshots|
For an easy to follow tutorial on converting anchor charts to worksheets visit Upper Grades Are Awesome.
- Cut out clipart or photos to preassemble the framework of your anchor chart.
- Use fun fonts or word art to create headers or bullets for your anchor charts.
- Let students illustrate anchor charts.
- Purchase premade anchor chart accessories on Teachers Pay Teachers. Use the search term "anchor charts." You will find premade anchor charts and accessories such as this literacy set by The Applicious Teacher.
Great tutorial for using word art:
3. Tips for Hanging and Storing Anchor Charts
You might have purchased or made a chart stand out of PVC pipe. If you don't have one, just grab this tip from Fun With Firsties! All you need is a set of command hooks, binder rings, and a tension rod.
Label and store your charts for easy access with this idea from Teaching With a Mountain View.
Well, I hope this helps take off some of the stress as you ready your classroom during back to school planning. Letting the students build the decor through meaningful learning, will not only save you time at the beginning of the year, but will pay off in dividends for your students!
Best wishes for your new school year!