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Easy and Cheap Anchor Chart Display!

I L-O-V-E making anchor charts with my students.  We make them for everything and anything.  Sometimes I make them just to show off my awesome drawing skills to my students.  Okay, that one isn’t true. I’m always jealous of the awesome anchor charts I see on Pinterest that have fabulous drawings. I can’t draw – at all!  My kids don’t seem to mind. It becomes a game to us.  I draw a cow. They tell me it looks like a duck.  I tell them to pretend. They laugh. Repeat.

But the truth is, creating an anchor chart for what we are learning helps my students visually connect their thoughts to the new knowledge we are forming during our mini-lessons.  We refer back to these anchor charts throughout the week and throughout the year as we review and make connections.

I used to have a rolling pocket chart stand that I put my anchor charts on.  I fished it out of a dumpster after someone threw it away. Yep. That’s how I roll. I’m a teacher, and I’ll do what it takes to get the classroom supplies I need haha!   However, my pocket chart stand was bulky and inconvenient.  I didn’t have a good place to put it when we weren’t using it, so I wanted something different for this year.

I was strolling through Wal-Mart last week to get some curtains for my classroom.  I stumbled upon this magnetic curtain rod.  

Being a teacher, my mind immediately began thinking of everything I could use this magnetic curtain rod for besides curtains.  I decided it would be perfect for my anchor charts at our whole group carpet area. I put some of those pocket-chart rings on it and stuck it to my focus wall.

Ta-Da!  It easily and quickly displays our anchor chart, but yet can be moved around and stored away when needed.  No more wasted floor space!  This rod was only about $7 at Wal-Mart and the magnets are really strong.

I’m thinking of putting a couple more in other areas of the room to display certain charts we may need for guided reading and writing time.  I’ll simply push the rod up toward the top of the board when I’m not using it, so that it doesn’t waste space.
I hope you find this little tip helpful as you start to prep your classroom for the new school year.  🙂  I booked a last minute flight to Monterey, CA today to meet my husband out there on a business trip tomorrow.  I’ve never been to California so I am SO excited!  The hotel  is waterfront and gorgeous. I have so much to do but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I’ll be blogging poolside the rest of the week for one more weekend of relaxation before the busy back-to-school time sets in. 🙂

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78 Comments

  1. Great idea! I love those magnetic towel bars. I have seen a ton of uses for them. I have been trying to think of a small way to display stuff since I am mobile. I have a few ideas:)

    Kristy

    1. What other uses have seen, Kristy? When you saw you're mobile, do you mean you have a cart that you take to rooms? I've recently seen that and it's tough stuff! 🙂
      Ashley

  2. LOVE this! I hope you don't mind, but I would like to share this on my Creative Teaching Press blog, Inspired In Style! I noticed the Poppin' Pattern letters and border by CTP, so I think it would be perfect to post. Of course, I will put a link to your site. I will also post this on Facebook as well! 🙂 Awesome, idea!

  3. I love, love this idea! I may head to Wal Mart tonight! And you are going to LOVE Monterey! We're going there next weekend for a family wedding. It's just beautiful!

    1. I use Scotch masking tape 🙂 I put pieces all over the whiteboard, then I stretch the paper over it. I do this for my word wall too, so that my words are magnetic. 🙂

  4. Unfortunately I have cinderblock walls BUT I do have file cabinets. I think this would be a great place to use this idea. Thanks for sharing. I wonder where the closest Walmart is to this hotel…

  5. LOVE this idea! I also like Pamela's idea of using it on file cabinets. I pushed mine back to back last year to create another bulletin board (like on pinterest). I think this would work beautifully on there instead! Thank you for sharing!

  6. What a fantastic idea. My walmart list just grew!! Um, the game you play with your students and art work – I play the same game. I seriously can't even draw a stick figure! When I taught 3d, I started letting my "artists" come up and draw for me 🙂
    Heather
    Kickin' It With Class

    1. Becky, they came with the pocket charts I've bought in the past. You can also purchase pocket chart rings separately from places like Really Good Stuff. 🙂

    2. If you can't find those, use the large binder rings instead. They are easier to find and you can open them to the chart you want instead of flipping all the charts over.

  7. I just bought one of those for my laundry room door (which leads outdoors). I have lived in my home for 2 years and just realized the door was magnetic. Until recently I could never figure how to hang curtains for privacy. (DUH! I know. Suzy homemaker I've never been.) WELL, you have opened my eyes to a new and WONDERFUL use for magnetic rods! My ELA focus wall in my classroom is on one of my whiteboards. I will definitely be adding a magnetic rod this year. Thank you so much for a great idea.

  8. You are BRILLIANT!! I see a trip to WalMart in my near future! (Would it be wrong to ditch my family at the beach to find one??) :0) Thanks for sharing!

    ~Kathy

  9. Love, love, love this idea, but how did you keep the curtain rod from flipping? I tried hanging the chart paper from it, but it would not hold. Pretty sure I bought the same one in your photo. Help!

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by flipping? The square backing on the rod is magnetic. It would not hold an entire chart tablet but it will hold quite a few pieces of paper. If you can see from the picture, I had ripped the anchor chart off of the tablet and hung it on the rod for display. The magnets on the rod I bought were quite strong

  10. I LOVE this! I just picked up my curtain rod at Walmart this morning! I also love your idea of using black paper over the white boards. Now that I use my smart board so much more, I could totally do that! Thanks for the great ideas!

  11. Thanks so much for your idea. I have been trying to come up with a place for my anchor charts and refuse to buy some big bulky contraption. This is PERFECT!!!!

  12. I'm loving this idea! Brilliant!!! Just a quick question, since the paper does extend out just a bit and not flat against the board/wall, is it a little harder to write on because you are not writing directly against a flat surface? I hope I made sense …eek!!! I so wanna do this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh okay! Thanks, good to know. Unfortunately I don't have an easel, but would like to create more charts with my class this year.

  14. Great Idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I have one of these I use over the window by my classroom door. I have a curtain haniging on it so I can use it f our school ever goes on lock down. I am thrilled to have another use for them. I bought a second just in case I found something else wonderful to do with it.

  15. Great Idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I have one of these I use over the window by my classroom door. I have a curtain haniging on it so I can use it f our school ever goes on lock down. I am thrilled to have another use for them. I bought a second just in case I found something else wonderful to do with it.

  16. Thank you for this wonderful idea — I'd never seen a magnetic curtain rod before!
    Also — I'm so happy you get to experience Monterey; it is a truly gorgeous place and I'm sure you will love love love it.
    I'm a Californian, and it's one of my favorite places to go — I hope you get/got to take in the aquarium — it's superb! Enjoy and have a great school year!

  17. For anyone wanting to try this idea but they don't have magnetic walls, look out for a suction towel rail. I bought mine at a hardware/home renovation shop in the bathroom aisle (Bunnings- but I'm in Australia. I guess Home Depot or Walmart would have this too). There's heaps of baskets and shelves also, but with a solid, strong suction fixture. I guess they're intended for rental homes, but it works great in my classroom.

  18. Hi, Christina.
    Yay! Awesome idea. 🙂
    Can you provide any details about the product for those of use who will be ordering the shower curtain rod online? I tried to find the item at Walmart.com, and I see quite a few negative reviews for the one I found. I just want to be sure to order the one you have used, since it's been teacher-tested and teacher-approved. 🙂 Thank you!

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