Anchor Charts for the Beginning of the Year

Well we are  finally settled into our second grade little classroom! The days are productive and enjoyable, small groups for reading and math are in full sail, and I... well, I finally have some time to blog.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have probably already seen all these anchor charts.  I am a a BIG believer in the power of anchor charts as a "first time learning" tool and an anchor for ongoing reference.
If you want to learn more about anchor charting, these are the resources I have read and learned from:

Click on the picture to get from Amazon

Click on the Picture to get from Amazon

The authors of these two amazing books, also have a super blog, that I check regularly for fantastic ideas, you can go there by clicking HERE!

Of course you also need anchor chart paper and Scentos markers. My favorite scent comes from the brown marker... it smells like ooey gooey cinnamon buns. Yum!

Click on the picture to get from Amazon
Click on the picture to get from Amazon.

So let me show you and tell you the why, how, and when of the following anchor charts.

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is a super powerful idea by Carol Dweck in her book "Mindset the New Psychology of Success."   I felt it was important to show my students that we can approach our goals with two different mindsets. A growth mindset, and a fixed mindset.  I don't think, my students have ever heard about this concept before. In order to make things relatable I made the following anchor chart the day after:

Well I figured that my students know about Cam Newton. {We are in NC, go Panthers!} Every single time, anyone feels like giving up on something, I ask them: Is that what Cam would do? Just in case you are wondering, I found this picture online.
Plain all Google images. 
I posted this anchor chart in one of the teacher Facebook groups. Most of the teachers thought the idea was genius... they just had to use another athlete.


Let me just tell you that this anchor chart is NOT my idea. This anchor chart came from this top-notchness of a book:

Click on the Picture to get from Amazon.

Goal setting, strategies, and really approaching needs to make my readers more aware... that's what I am all about. After  creating this anchor chart, I have met my students individually to check on the type of strategies that they need to work on in order to advance on their reading journey
I also made this form (also inspired by The Reading Strategies Book) in order to give my students something to hold on to when they are practicing their strategies without teacher support:

You  can download this form by clicking HERE!

My students keep this form in their reading strategies/tools folder and they refer to it constantly. I leave them notes when I confer with them, and they give themselves a check mark every time they use  the strategies successfully.

Now, this anchor chart I simply wanted to share with you. It is not something that necessarily has to be done at the beginning of the year, but it is good reference since my second graders have to be proficient in asking and answering questions with who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Y'all I am the "Just Right" books police I swear! This year, I am determined, more than ever, to help my students become life-long readers. So this lesson, took place at the very beginning of our Daily 5 routines. I made this flow map showing my students the steps in choosing just right books. After the lesson, I have made sure to double check on their reading choices. Even though, I do not want to limit my students' reading choices, I am teaching them to find the right fit when it comes to books!


A number of years ago I read the BEST book on writer's workshop by far.

Click on the picture to get from Amazon

I never forgot how the author talks about her visiting a classroom and seeing the kids' drafts full of red marks. She was very surprised and taken by the fact that the red marks came from the students own editing pens. And here we go back to the idea of learning from each other and helping each other be better.  So one of the first lessons that I did with my 2nd grade authors this year started with this anchor chart:

I also provide a small cup full of  ink pens. For the past two rounds of Daily 5 stations, I have asked my students to write a piece, THEN find and editing partner and edit together.

This week, this was one of the pieces produced by my students. I mean really. Happy teacher heart. I have the best job in the world.


Oh word problems! We will certainly tackle you this year. And it all begins with teaching our students an assortment of strategies to problem solve.

I am not a math person. I have written before about my 6th grade math teacher and how she ruined it for me. I go back to those years, and I so desperately want to do math the right way for my students and my own boys.

OK friends, this is all for now. I have to get going since my sweet Nico will start middle school on Monday and I need to go shopping.
Until next time!