For years I’ve struggled with how to store my anchor charts. Twenty years ago, before they even acquired the name “anchor charts”, I used skirt hangers. At the time I had a large storage closet with a bar, so this wasn’t a bad option. Back then I taught kindergarten so most of my charts were songs or poems I used during our morning meeting or for “read around the room.” I changed them on a regular basis. But even though the skirt hangers worked, I still had to dig around to find the chart I wanted. Later, I organized them into months, which made them easier to find, but they still took up a lot of room.
Now that I’m teaching college elementary education majors, I still use anchor charts. I use them to model how my students can use them in their own classrooms. Unfortunately, my office is about the same size as that kindergarten closet. There is no way to use skirt hangers for storage in my tiny office. Over the last several years, I’ve rolled my charts and stuck them into a box, stacked them on top of my filing cabinets, and hung them on rings; but I still struggle to find the one I need easily. I tried using post-it notes or writing the name of the chart on the edge, but the notes fell off and the name often was rolled under where I couldn’t see it. Having them in a pile on the cabinet, meant I had to pull them all down and rifle through to fine the right one. This wasn’t easy in my tiny cluttered office.
Then, I had an epiphany! Toilet paper rolls!! I was using toilet paper rolls to hold my wrapping paper together, and it occurred to me that not only would a roll hold the chart together, but it could also be used to label the contents of the chart. I teach a couple of different classes, so I could put colored washi tape at the top of the tubes to distinguish the classes. This could also be done to distinguish subjects. (I haven’t done this yet because I don’t have enough toilet paper tubes:0)
I then wrote the chart name on the tube. Stick them all in a box and your done!