Anchor Activities Allow Teachers to Work With Small Groups
Feb 20, 2009 Teaching Methodology 5698 Views
Anchor activities are student centered activities that are designed to extend and review already learned skills. These activities are ongoing assignments that are self-directed. In other words, the students work on these activities independently throughout a given unit.
For example, in a 6th grade geography class, one anchor activity may be to have the students create an imaginary continent. Students can include country names, borders, and capitals. What's great is this activity is open-ended and can continue indefinitely by having the students explain how the various governments work, the different cultures, laws etc. The teacher can have the students work on their anchor activity for whatever length of time the teacher chooses.
Anchor activities can be used for many purposes, but one of the best reasons is to free up the classroom teacher to work with other smaller groups of students or even individual students. For example, the teacher can have half the class working on an anchor activity while the other half of the class is working on a teacher-directed activity. This allows the teacher to be able to work closely with smaller groups of students or individual students.
Of course, if the students who are working on their anchor activities are off-task and causing classroom management problems, the teacher will not be able to work with the small groups as the teacher will have to focus his attention on solving those classroom management problems. Therefore, clear expectations must be set, taught and practiced. Furthermore, students must be held accountable for their behavior as well as completion of the activities.
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