This year, I am using mini-charts in addition to my regular size charts and I'm loving it! I always have charts around the classroom that we create for our current units and we refer to them consistently during lessons, conferences, and while working independently. I always change up my charts to make sure they are current, have a purpose, and to make sure I'm not wallpapering our classroom with charts. I don't want it to be overwhelming for students or have unnecessary charts hanging up. However, sometimes there are still charts that students use or charts that I want students to be able to refer to while at home or when they are in another part of the school working. Hence the idea of mini-charts!
I constantly take photos of our charts, bulletin boards, and student work so when I want a mini-chart, I just print out the photo. On our back bulletin boards for reading and writing, I hang up the mini-charts under a section "Our Charts and Strategies" for the current unit. This way, students can refer to them whenever they want and can easily see a variety of charts at one glance in one spot. I also sometimes print out photos to give individual students mini-charts to add to their reader's or writer's notebook or math binder if it is a math chart. Then students have access to our charts wherever they are and whenever they need them. I also love that the mini-charts don't take up so much space on the bulletin boards as the full size chart paper so it makes more room for student work. I still have full size charts hanging up in front of the room by our mini-lesson meeting area and hanging on my clothesline that crosses my classroom, but the mini-charts on the back bulletin board are an extra bonus!
Happy Charting! :)