Developing the Classroom BRAND

The classroom creates the first impression when students enter your class. Is it warm, welcoming, cheerful, open, inviting, interesting,
inspiring, thought-provoking??
Is it a place that you would want to spend time in?
Are the chairs arranged comfortably? Is the arrangement compatible with collaboration, discussion, interactions?

Level 3 and 4 Anchor Charts are posted
Samples of student problem solving/work are posted
Classroom is set up for flexible student groupings and/or learning centers
Technology used-OnMath, Smartboards, Senteos, Graphing Calculators, Assistive Technology, course websites etc and readily available
Seating plan readily available with IEP students identified
Recognize and value the needs, interests, and capacities of students
Demonstrate consistent effort to keep students motivated and engaged
Help students develop a sense of competence, self worth and a positive attitude toward learning
Evidence of Differentiated instruction
Monitor student progress on an ongoing basis and ensure students monitor their own progress
Create assessment tasks that allow students to demonstrate what they know and can do in different ways (eg. Observations, portfolios, journals, rubrics, tests, projects, self/peer assessments, etc.)
Provide students with descriptive feedback that guides students’ efforts to improve toward curriculum expectations
Offer multiple opportunities to demonstrate student learning and for students to improve their work
Set high expectations for all students that reflect pre-assessment results
Use of curriculum expectations in all lessons

Anchor Charts: An Evidence-based Strategy to Support Student Learning
In a classroom with rich anchor chart support, there can be little doubt as to what is under study and what students are expected to learn. Anchor charts provide a public trail of learning and thinking. They are used to provide visual supports for students to define shared understandings of concepts under study. They are to be referenced repeatedly by both teachers and students to ‘anchor’ thinking.
Anchor charts foster independence allowing “students to become more responsible for their learning by referring to these charts when necessary and using them as tools for accessing learning and assessing their own work. Using anchor charts is one way to make criteria for specific expectations clear for students.
Tips for Criteria Anchor Charts:
1. Work with colleagues to understand the criteria of the specific expectation by examining prompts and examples.

• The anchor chart should have a single curriculum focus
Sometimes a specific expectation is broad by design (e.g., Point of View). To be able to meet this standard, teachers will have to help students meet criteria and build capacity to meet this expectation (e.g., show the character’s feelings). By considering the prompts and examples, criteria for the expectation become more evident, but it is in conversation with colleagues that more discrete skills will become evident (e.g., to show the character’s feelings an author will use dialogue, body language, and actions).

2. Choose which criteria relate most directly to your culminating task and highlight on your sorted criteria list. Create a list of planned points you will lead your students to add to their anchor chart.
• Each point of the anchor chart represents a teaching point
Criteria must be broken down into specific skills that will help the students meet the specific expectation. Those discrete skills make up the topics of the mini lessons that are taught in the day-to-day work within the literacy block (e.g., use of dialogue might be taught through use of a mentor text or a student exemplar). Since the skills are represented as points on the anchor chart, the learner is supported in remembering the skills that will lead toward mastery of the curriculum expectation.

3. Plan how to create the anchor chart with your students.
• The anchor chart is co-constructed with students
Co-creating charts with students rather than from a chart which has already been completed allows you to use the students’ language and your own examples. When the visual represents a learning event that includes the students, it becomes an artifact of the learning experience and has meaning for the students because they participated in its construction. Deconstructing text with students (e.g., an exemplar carefully created by the teacher, student exemplars, or mentor texts) will help students to see what you will be specifically looking for in their culminating task.

4. Use the anchor chart to support on-going learning and formative assessment/feedback.
• The anchor chart reflects recent lessons and concepts
One of the most important considerations for learning is whether or not the anchor chart is relevant and used by the students. The anchor charts will foster independence if students can easily access the information when they are responding independently. Therefore, teachers display the charts openly and often create smaller individual versions for students.