Ideas for using pocket charts in Pre-K.
Using Pocket Charts for Classroom Management
Small Group Assignments
I use a pocket chart to keep up with small group assignments as a reference for both the children and teachers in our room. I printed the name cards from Environments.com Label Maker.
Our name cards are kept in a pocket chart so that they are easily visible, and the children are able to take out a card to carry to any table in the room. The children like to use the cards to write a name when they are making artwork or notes for their friends. These were made by attaching a photograph of each child on a index card with their name beside it. These name cards can also be used in voting & graphing with pocket charts (see below).
At arrival each day, children take their name card from the basket and place it in the pocket chart in the appropriate place: lunch tray or lunch box. This makes it easier for my assistant to take the lunch count in the morning.
Using Pocket Charts for Activities
Pocket charts are great for taking a class vote. We vote on many things in our classroom. Many times when we read a book, we take a vote to see how many people liked the book. We sometimes take votes on which rainy day activity to do, or which song to sing.
Pocket charts work well for graphing. In the photo, we graphed our favorite fairy tale. We do many different kinds of graphs during the year. When we make a graph, the children write their name on an index card to place in the pocket chart, or we use the name & photo cards from our name card pocket chart.
We use a pocket chart to play rhyming match games. Each child is given one picture card to hold. Then we go through the stack of matching rhyming cards. The child with the matching card places the two rhyming picture cards side by side on the pocket chart. Children also play this game at center time.
We used a pocket chart to track how many airplanes flew over while we were out on the playground each month. Children would place airplane cards in the pocket chart each day for each airplane we spotted.
Pocket Chart Rhymes
Pocket charts work well for rhyme charts, especially interactive rhymes where words and pictures can be replaced or moved. I have several interactive rhymes purchased from Scholastic and some I’ve made. Another great source for interactive rhymes is the book More Than Letters by Moomaw and Heironymous.
Pocket Chart Tips
Pocket Chart Stand
A garment rack can be purchased for about $10-15, and teacher stores sell the metal rings for hanging the pocket chart from the bar. These are basically the same as the pocket chart stands sold in school supply catalogs, but cost less.
A lot of my pocket charts are hung on a wall or furniture with 3M removable adhesive clips. These are sold in hardware stores and places like Target and Walmart. Magnetic hooks can be used for hanging pocket charts on the white board. I’ve also seen hooks for hanging pocket charts on the white board tray and on doors.
Binder clips can be used for attaching pieces that don’t fit in the pockets of a pocket chart. I also use binder clips to clip a pocket chart that I have rolled. I roll pocket charts for storage, or when I have more than one pocket chart on the same stand (to get the one I’m not using out of the way). I roll the chart I’m not using at the moment with the sentence strips still in it, then it can be used again by unrolling the chart.
Storing Sentence Strips
Sentence strips can be stored in an extra pocket chart that you can hang in your closet or storage area. Clip each set of sentence strips together using a binder clip, and place each set in it’s own pocket. You can also use a bulletin board border storage container for sentence strips.