Monday, November 7, 2011

Interactive Charts Anyone?

I don't know if anyone even calls them that anymore?  

Years ago (I am not going to say how many)...when I was in college and immersed in the "Whole Language" format of teaching reading...I was introduced to the concept of making interactive charts to get the child more involved with the words they were reading.  For some reason, this strategy stuck with me all of these years and now I have accumulated quite a collection that I use with my kindergarten students. 

I model using these charts with my whole class several times before I place them at the interactive chart center for them to use independently.  What makes them interactive?  Many of the charts have something that the child can manipulate such as adding a name, changing a number, or counters.  All of the items that are manipulated on the chart have velcro on the back.

Here are a few that are currently hanging at my Interactive Chart Center:

The Birthday Song

      On the birthday song chart, the children can manipulate the number of candles (I use to teach Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds) and attach the name of the child they are singing to at the appropriate place.  This one stays out all year as we use it on every child's birthday.  They just love being teacher on their birthday while wearing a birthday crown and using the special birthday pointer too.

Farmer Brown

      The children can manipulate the number at the top as they pull off the apples.

Way Up High In The Apple Tree

     On this chart, the children can manipulate the apples on the tree as they read the rhyme.  If I were to redo this one, I would have made it so that you can change the number at the top as well.

Pick A Pumpkin

     For this rhyme, the children can pick the pumpkins at the bottom.  When I do this chart, we also write down subtraction sentences (5-2=3, 3-2=1, so forth).  If I were to ever redo this chart, I would add a lot more pumpkins so that we can do more subtraction sentences.

Pumpkin Face

     For this rhyme, the children can manipulate the shapes at the bottom to give the pumpkin a face.  I tell them they can use any of the objects to create a face in any way they want.  They love seeing what the Jack-o-lanterns face looks like when they are done.  As I use this whole group, I ask the children to tell me what shapes they used for the eyes, the nose, and the mouth.  This is great for reviewing shapes at Halloween time.

Leaves Falling Down

     The students can manipulate the colored leaves to retell this rhyme.  This is great for reviewing color words.

The Leaves are Falling Down
(tune: The Farmer In the Dell)

     Again, the children simply manipulate the colored leaves on this rhyme to then retell it in their way.

Ten Little Indians

      For this chart, the children can manipulate the indians at the bottom.  We practice putting them up as we count from one to 10.  We also can put them in a pattern (boy, girl, boy, girl, etc.).  I have considered writing numbers on the indians and having the children put them in number order.  I just haven't done it yet.

     So is anyone wondering, how do you store all of these charts.  Well, here is a picture of what the center looks like.  My husband built it for me years ago.  I don't know if you can see it, but it has a white hook on the end of it for the children to hang the chart they are working with.  Sometimes they like to take the chart over to my easel to use, since that is where I model using the charts with them.  All of the charts are hanging on plastic hangers.

     Any charts that are not in use are stored in a coat closet.  We are an older school and I actually still have a coat closest in my classroom.  I have many interactive charts that go with various literature as well (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Napping House, The Bus Ride, I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly).  

     I am always looking for new interactive chart ideas, so if you know of any, please share.

Happy Blogging!


  1. Hi Ann!
    I was ROLLING at the name story! Too funny!
    I am your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog- Kristin rocks!

    an aside- I can't stand those hangers when the cashier sends them home with me.... They don't fit on the door frame and my youngest can't work them....but the potential hoarder (I mean teacher) won't let me throw them away- so I have an office closet FULL of them! YAY! now they have a use for me...great idea!
    Going Nutty!

  2. I'm glad you found an idea you could use and enjoyed hearing about my name! Thanks for being a follower!

  3. I love your interactive charts! You just gave me some great ideas...I might have to work on some over Thanksgiving break! I always have poems up, but these are so much cooler! =)
    Thanks Ann!

    Kinder Kraziness

  4. Laura, I'm glad you liked my interactive charts. They are really fun to make and the kinders really do get a lot of use out of them. I will try to post more later.

  5. I love these! Thank you so much for sharing! Do you have any Christmas charts by any chance?

    Lil' Country Kindergarten

  6. Really loved your interactive charts. I'm new to Transitional Kindergarten and my kiddos would really enjoy these. Do you have other charts that you have posted or can share?