Breathing Anchor Charts

I finally had a chance to try an idea this summer during our literacy summer school and wanted to quickly share before the new year. We use anchor charts all the time – math, reading, writing, etc… Like everyone else, anchor charts are great because we build them together as a class and it anchors important concepts or strategies on a chart for students to use as a resource. However, as much as I wish and hope my kids are using the charts, they’re really not taking advantage of them. Honestly, I sometimes feel like my anchor charts are tacky wallpaper to them. So I’m always asking myself, how can the iPads help do something great that we couldn’t do without them?

I thought it would increase the value of anchor charts if they “came alive” and became breathing anchor charts. So picture this: a student looks at a reading anchor chart and realizes their post-it shows a great example of noticing how a character can change over time. They share with me. I approve it. They go to the chart and right next to the strategy, they use Aurasma on the iPad, an augmented reality app, and embed a photo of their sticky note next to it. Then another student notices there’s an Aura next to the strategy that’s hard for them, they go up to the chart, scan the iPad over the strategy, and learn from the example written by their peer.

Gradually, every student wants their work or their face embedded on the charts. They pick a strategy they want to work towards and once I approve it, they embed it to the chart. Charts are living and breathing throughout the year. I love that it also fosters self-reflection, goal-setting, small celebrations, and a learning community. Next year, I want to take advantage of this and have students document success during one-on-one conferences, small group work, and guided reading/math time.

Tip: I have a roll of stickers and they place a sticker on the chart to create the “trigger image”. The sticker acts as a clue that there’s an Aura for you to check out.

For more amazing ideas and info about how to use Aurasma in the classroom, see Erin Klein’s awesome post:

Photo Jul 10, 9 59 39 AM Photo Aug 01, 11 14 41 AM Photo Aug 01, 11 14 52 AM 2014-07-10 10.16.34