I was maybe a little late the anchor chart band wagon. I get the importance of a method to remind (or anchor) important information into our kiddies’ heads but I was worried having too much on the walls could be overstimulating for my guys. But I think there is way to utilize anchor charts in a way that is majorly beneficial and maintains a visually clear environment. Anchor Charts are basically large visuals, right? How have I not been using these longer?
Keys to Utilizing Anchor Charts in an Autism Classroom:
- Keep the Language Simple: Don’t get fancy. Keep the wording direct and to the point so it will be helpful. Keep in mind the language processing that many of our students have.
- Use Color Coding: Color coding helps when you are trying to refer to something that is on the wall way up high and you can’t physically point to. You can then say, “Read the blue one.” Simple genius right there.
- Make It Physically Defined: And a little structure to your anchor chart. In the same way that helps our kiddos understand their environment – it will also help them understand a mess full of words.
- Embed Examples: Many of students don’t truly understand something until they hear some examples. Simply reading a definition can be too much language. Our students are constantly categorizing and discriminating in their mind “If this is like this, than this is a this…” Give them examples with the chart.
- Use Visuals: Duh! Our kids are visual. Make sure the anchor charts utilize visuals when needed. More language is not always better!
- Provide Anchor Charts for Curriculum Specific Needs: Only put up anchor charts that you will be using on a regular basis. Keep the fresh with what curriculum and activities you are doing. My class is doing a social skills thinking unit called Superflex and we talk about it constantly. This anchor chart is a must have.
- Functional Anchor Charts: Think about what annoying questions you get asked constantly throughout the day that can be easily answered? How about an anchor chart for that? We have a whole anchor chart for commonly used website and passwords and it is a LIFESAVER.