How-To Create a Video Anchor Wall
If you’re like most teachers, you have probably used Word Walls and Anchor Charts in your classroom! Both are wonderful resources for students. They are designed to continue supporting students as they transition from one skill to the next. In this post, I’m going to show you how you can combine the best of Word Walls with the best of Anchor Charts and add in a third level of support – video!
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it will be a tool that you can use to support your students over and over.
So let’s get to it! In just three easy steps, you’ll have a Video Anchor Wall that you can use while you watch your students grow!
Step 1: Create your anchor chart
Step 2: Create a quick video
Step 3: Use a QR code to link your video to your chart and display it just like you would a word wall
3 EASY STEPS!
Step 1: Create Your Anchor Chart
When making anchor charts, there are things that matter and things that don’t. Here are the do’s and don’ts for creating your anchor charts.
- Make sure the anchor chart anchors the understanding. The best way to do this is to create the anchor chart with the students as you are teaching the lesson. As you talk, draw, model, and connect, students will gain an understanding of the skill, but will also be able to easily understand what each element of the anchor chart represents. This helps jog their memory later.
- Keep your anchor charts bite-sized. Don’t try to cram everything there is to know on one chart.
- Use chart paper to create your anchor chart so that your students can easily see it. You can always take a picture of that chart if you want a version that will easily fit on a bulletin board or in a space dedicated for your reference wall.
- Don’t worry about it being pretty! The point is not to make beautiful works of art to decorate your classroom. The point is to anchor the concepts you’ve taught so that when students look at the chart, they remember the things you’ve taught them.
- Don’t create your anchor chart and then never allow students to revisit it again. It’s a reference, not a relic!
I have had the joy of working alongside some amazing educators, but I remember one teacher that really stands out. I was walking down the hallway one morning and saw a new word wall with scientific vocabulary being displayed. There were QR codes taped to each word. I scanned one out of curiosity, and an audio file popped up. As I played it, my friend’s recorded voice came through my phone as she quickly defined the word. What an amazing idea!
One area that I’ve found students need lots of ongoing support is fractions. The skills are built upon each other, so going back to remember how to create a common denominator or how to simplify an answer created lines of help-seeking students at my desk.
Check out this resource! It’s a collection of anchor charts that are created as a video lesson unfolds. The lesson is linked via a QR code so that students can revisit the skills over and over. Check out the video to see all the benefits this resource has to offer.
Step 2: Make A Quick Video
Some kids will need a little more support than the anchor chart itself can offer. This can happen when a student didn’t fully understand the lesson the first time that you taught it. When this happens, their understanding isn’t actually anchored with the chart. Creating a quick video gives your students a second chance to hear and understand. (Plus it makes catching up absent kids so easy!). Here are some ideas of how you can easily make a video that can supplement your anchor chart.
- Use Screencastify or another screen recording program to record yourself teaching a brief overview of the lesson the anchor chart goes with. It doesn’t have to be fancy, well-produced, or long. Often, this video can be made in less than 3 minutes, giving you a true mini-lesson.
- Set up your camera (or even just your phone) to record yourself teaching the lesson. (Make sure your students aren’t in the video so you don’t have to worry about breaking privacy laws.) With no extra work, you will have your entire lesson recorded so that students can hear all the juicy teaching a second time.
- Find a comparable lesson on Youtube. This is my last choice, but it does work. The reason it’s a last choice, is because in my experience, it always takes much longer to find a “just right” video than it does to make your own. If you absolutely don’t want to make a video yourself, then Youtube will most likely have something that you can make do with.
Step 3: Create a QR Code
Once you have your anchor chart made and your video created or picked out, you just have to make a QR code. This is definitely the easiest part, so don’t let it scare you!
Just go to QRCODE Monkey.
- Step 1: Copy your video URL and paste it into QRCODE Monkey. You can get the URL from Screencastify, Google Drive, Drop Box, Youtube or wherever your video file is saved.
- Step 2: Click “Create QR Code”
- Step 3: Click “Download PNG”
Now you can go into your downloads and get the QR code.
Putting it all together
Now all you have to do is paste your QR code onto your anchor chart. You can do this several ways:
- Old school cut and glue. Just print out the QR code and glue it on your anchor chart.
- Copy/Paste the QR code onto a digital version of your anchor chart. I like to use Google Slides or PowerPoint to make my posters instead of Word of Google Docs because it makes it easier to resize your images and drag them to wherever you want them to go.
- Print and hang. I like to print the anchor charts on regular paper so that I have room for more of them. But, if you’d like to print photographs of your anchor charts as larger posters, you can watch this video to teach you how to do it. There are starter files in the video description.
Train Your Students to Use the Video Anchor Wall
You are the path of least resistance when it comes to student learning, but it really is best if students develop the ability to seek out their own answers. Once you have reference resources available for your students, teach them how to use them. You can model the actions by role-playing. Once students understand how to seek out their own answers, consistently hold them to this expectation. After a while, you will be so impressed by your students’ ability to find answers to the questions they have without needing your help.