Pocket chart stands are almost a necessity in an elementary classroom. They can be used for so many different activities in daily lessons and offer a permanent home for those items, like anchor charts, you know you’ll want to review again with students.
I know for me, I have always used an easel or chart stand in my various classrooms from kindergarten to sixth grade. I love being able to teach from the carpet and use a pocket chart or chart paper as opposed to students sitting in desks and looking at the board.
Students are far more likely to pay better attention if they are seated in close proximity, they can easily get up and make it an interactive activity at the chart, and it’s a nice break to sit somewhere other than a hard desk chair for hours on end.
Finding a good way to hang your pocket charts can be difficult if you don’t have a pocket chart stand provided in your classroom. Our guest blogger Denise has an idea that just may rock your world. Enjoy!
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I love pocket chart activities. I sincerely do. I do not, however, love the actual pocket chart. I suppose it’s actually the chart stand that gives me trouble.
The chart stands supplied by my district are really not chart stands, they’e actually chart tablet holders. This presents a problem.
The stand is a good 6 inches shorter than a standard pocket chart. So hanging a pocket chart from the stand always left extra space on either end of the chart. I tried just tucking the ends under, I double stick taped them down, I tried stapling them, but in the end, it was just a bad fit.
Does this look familiar?
Just a sad, sad state of affairs. I really needed to buy an actual pocket chart stand (especially since a child got sick all over this one last year – yuk!) but a real chart stand can cost around $100!
I didn’t want to buy a new one of these even though they were less expensive because I was sick of the saggy, ill fitting chart problem.
How to make a DIY pocket chart stand
Then one day, I walked into a friend’s room and I saw a thing of beauty! A clean, white, lightweight chart stand that actually fit the chart perfectly – and it was on wheels!!
I gushed about it to my friend and told her how lucky she was to have such an awesome chart stand (the things we teachers get excited about, right?) I was rolling it back and forth and marveling at its clean lines and wider frame that was obviously made for the pocket chart when she looked at me like I was insane and said six words that rocked my world, “It’s a garment laundry rack from Target.”
Just as I was trying to process this, she further blew me away by telling me it was only $10! TEN DOLLARS!
Look at the improvement. Isn’t it breathtaking? (ok, I might be overreacting, but it’s darn awesome!)
Am I right?
I even bought a new pocket chart to celebrate. It was seriously time. Look at how yellow my old pockets were!
It feels like a breath of fresh air in my room when I look at this thing.
Here’s what it looks like in the box. If you have a Super Target, it’s not near the laundry soap, laundry baskets and irons, it’s actually clear across the store near the closet stuff. I learned this the hard way.
Or you can grab something similar on Amazon HERE.
There are a few little drawbacks if I’m being completely honest, but to me the positives far outweigh the negatives.
1. It is not adjustable. This is ok with me though, you can see it fits the length of the chart pretty well. I also have a very sturdy little step from IKEA that my shorties love to use if they can’t reach the top.
2. You have to figure out a way to hook the chart to the stand. My friend used ribbons, which was very cute. I used some ball-chain keychains I had because they are all the exact same length.
3. It does roll, which I happen to love because I move my chart all over depending on what I’m doing and who I’m working with, but I’m not sure if you’ll find that a pro or con.
I hope my little discovery brightens your life like it did mine. Even if you already have a great chart stand, now you can afford to have another one so you can have two pocket chart activities going on at once!
What should I display on my chart stand?
So many ideas…
- classroom pocket charts – everything from an attendance pocket chart to a sentence strip pocket chart
- calendar – do some daily calendar math as a group from the floor
- storage rack – use it as a spot to store extra supplies in the pockets, such as pencils, scissors, glue, calculators, and more
- flip chart – a great spot for a “make-your-own-sentence” flip book with your chart stand
- anchor chart holder – use o-rings to hold all your laminated anchor charts for the year and use the chart stand as an anchor chart library for review
- chart paper – write down center rotation groups to display for easy reference
Well, my OC Blog buds, have a fantastic week filled with lots of love and laughter and I’ll see you again!
Do you have other ideas for using chart paper stands in the classroom? Feel free to leave them in a comment below!