Organize Your Anchor Paper Collection

Writing

Organize Your Anchor Paper Collection

Posted on April 16, 2010

Organize Your Anchor Paper Collection

You know how important it is to show authentic examples of student work to your class, but keeping track of why you kept a certain piece is tricky. We have all collected piles of papers from one year, and then wondered why in the world we wanted a particular piece when we looked at it the next year.

Kristina Smekens found a system that worked--sticky notes (one of her favorite ways to organize anything)! She uses a sticky note to keep track of the title of the writing, the genre, the grade level, and, more importantly, the level of the paper (high, medium, or low). Including information about each of the 6-traits helps to keep track of the specific reason(s) she kept the piece and possible mini-lesson topics for each writing (e.g. shows great beginning or has good word choice, especially paragraph 3).

Keep in mind that as you begin collecting, you'll realize that one paper might act as an anchor for several different reasons. It's better to have a smaller collection of papers than to try to keep track of too many. Remember to hang on to those potential anchor papers and keep track of why you like them so you can pull them out and use them next year to teach the traits.