ABC of inquiry – ANCHOR CHARTS

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ABC of INQUIRY - Anchor Chart

ABC of inquiry – ANCHOR CHARTS

ABC of inquiry – ANCHOR CHARTS: To make real change, you have to be well anchored – not only in the belief that it can be done, but also in some pretty real ways about who you are and what you can do”.  These words by Twyla Tharp remind us that having a reference point can be useful when making or creating change. It gives us a stable point to return as we reinvent or develop new possibilities.

 ANCHOR CHARTS: Anchors aweigh
Anchor charts are classroom displays that make learning expectations visible. They help the learner anchor their choices into something known and predictable. Anchor charts are a reference point and need to be reviewed and updated as learners understandings and skills grow.
In an inquiry based classroom, anchor charts usually form the scaffold for choices that can be made during inquiry routines or open learning time.

Below are some anchor charts that show how they can be developed using conceptual foci, in students’ primary language, the language of instruction and through pictorial notes. Using the students ideas, prior experiences and language the anchor charts become a success criteria for learning that the students created with conceptual scaffolds.

  • What can you notice about who created the charts?
  • What might guide the discussion that lead to the charts content creation?
  • How might charts like this provide scaffolded experiences that will aid in developing greater student agency in a learning community?
When students have an opportunity to help create, deconstruct and make visible the expectations in learning routines or engagements, they have a greater chance at experiencing success and taking ownership of their learning. Anchor charts are a great first step to visible learning.


Words to be explored in the A section of our dictionary will include

  • Action
  • Active
  • Adaptive thinking
  • Agency
  • Anchor charts
  • Application
  • Assessment
  • Attitudes

BCW will now use ‘They — themself’ as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun in all subsequent material generated on our website.

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