Teacher Stuff: It’s Chart Day!!


I LOVE making charts!  Step into my classroom and you’ll probably say, “Wow, someone has too much time!” but to be honest, I  don’t!  I just love them so much and love the way they are useful but can add so much character (sometimes literally) to our walls.  They help the kids remember stories, access words they’ve learned, or recall tools to help them organize their thinking.  I have found that the kids, especially little ones, use and remember more from the charts when they are very visual, so I make time in my week to create these charts using characters from the stories, pictures to illustrate a poem or concept, and bright colors.  It’s also a win-win because I get to do a little art, which I don’t really have time for at home!  So stop on in and look around!

 5 Finger Retelling

    Let’s start with the charts I made for the week we were practicing Retelling using familiar stories.  We started by introducing the 5-Finger Retelling chart and using the elements of a story to help us retell all the important parts of a story.  This chart was based on several charts and ideas found on Pinterest, particularly one from First Grade W.O.W. and one from The Techy Teacher.  We had the idea to use a hand as a strategy to track whether they had included all the important elements in order. During the week, we used the chart to help us retell familiar stories together as well as in their Reading Response journals.

Red Riding Hood SummaryOn the first day, we discussed the elements of James Marshall’s Red Riding Hood and worked together to write a summary of the story.  We then paired up and practiced retelling the story to a partner using the 5-Finger Retelling strategy to help.  Students completed a story map in their journals of the characters, setting, problem and solution.

The rest of the week, we read together, practiced retelling to a partner or as a group and then completed the story map on the chart.  Students then wrote their own summaries for Reading Response using the 5-Finger Retelling strategy.

Story Maps 2Story Map

Books We Used:

Red Riding Hood by James Marshall

The Three Little Wolves and the Big, Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas

The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit by Susan Lowell

The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Moving on to other charts!!  I also like to use charts to help us remember skills we’ve learned in Word Work or Writing.  Some of my favorites have been the Alliteration Chart, based on the amazing chart from The First Grade Parade!!  I added a few extra tongue twisters the kids particularly liked but it very close to hers!  It was just too cute not to borrow!

Alliteration Chart

One of my other favorites is our Treasure Map of “ar” words!  The kids had so much fun adding words to the chart! I got the idea from this pin from The Inspired Apple. The purple words were the kids spelling words for the week.  During the week, the kids came up with other words to add and we wrote those in green!


These are just a few of the many charts we’ve made this year, but it gives you an idea.  Sorry the pictures aren’t great, my camera is MIA at the moment and my phone is just ok.  Hopefully I can search the house during our Beginning of Summer Purge next week!!  For those of you not finished teaching yet, have a great week!  And for those of you at home, enjoy an extra cup of coffee and an extra 30 minutes of sleep for me!!

Can’t wait! -T


4 thoughts on “Teacher Stuff: It’s Chart Day!!

  1. Aww… this post reminded me of those early years at Palmer when you were in first through third grades and I was a parent volunteer, cranking out posters like this for teachers. It’s another “life has come full circle” moment. Great job, honey! -mom

    • I know!! I was thinking about that when I wrote this too! I learned all my best character drawing skills from you, Mom! Thanks! I have a bunch more I saved, thank goodness, and I plan to post more soon! I think I have a little too much fun making them!!

  2. You make some of the best anchor charts that I have found online through pinterest and blogs. I use a lot of your ideas to create my own anchor charts in my classroom. So, you work in a two-way immersion dual language program? I also teach in a dual langauge program. I am teaching the English side. My students switch half way through the day and receive Spanish instruction in the afternoon. I get the other students who were in Spanish the day before. I would love to teach both languages. The anchor charts you have created are perfect for dual language. What is it like teaching only in English now? What were the challenges of teaching in both languages? Do you do “bridging” lessons between both languages? I imagine your anchor charts are extremely helpful with that! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!
    – Stina

    • Stina, I only taught in both languages for what we call Language of the Day which included things like Calendar, Morning Routine, and transitions. I enjoy teaching the English side of Dual Language but often had to support some students by “bridging” for vocabulary. The anchor charts and morning lessons are especially helpful for that. One thing I wish we did more of was teaching Math vocab during Spanish morning message and Science vocab on English days to bridge more. Good luck and thanks for the compliments!! I actually to need to get more charts up from this year!

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