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What are anchor activities?

  • specified ongoing activities on which students work independently
  • ongoing assignments that students can work on throughout a unit


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where some students have finished work before their classmates? Maybe they were better prepared for the assignment, or maybe their learning styles were particularly suited to that type of assignment. Whatever the reason, we know that not all students learn at the same pace. When some students are ready to move on, a differentiated instruction strategy called Anchors can offer enrichment and deeper meaning to their learning.

Anchors are purposeful, worthwhile activities that deepen student understanding of content and enrich the skills students need to acquire. Anchor activities are not busy work, which is designed to keep students quiet while others students finish their work. Anchors offer meaningful, self-directed activities for students to work on when they have free time (e.g., at the beginning of class or when they finish work early).

Anchors meet varying student learning profiles and interests. A logical extension of learning, Anchors may include extended content, related content, additional practice activities, or new applications of material that students have learned. They are usually designed for individuals to complete alone, but can be created for pairs or other small, self-selected groupings.

March 2010- Y9 students

Isabel Lenihan-Ikin
Tanya Peart
Louis Esther

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