Friday, July 27, 2012

Literacy Bulletin Boards

Well, friends, I'm three days away from getting into my classroom and starting the process of assembling things for my fourth grade friends who will be coming in just over three week's time!

I'm still sorting through ideas for bulletin boards. I'm sure I will change my mind a gazillion times before it's all said and done. I don't know how you all operate, but I am ALL OVER THE PLACE when I'm setting up a new classroom... I start one project, move over to another before the first one is done and I kind of flit from thing to thing until it's all done. I've worked with other teachers who are far more methodical and actually FINISH the project they start before moving on to another. I just get too excited about things to stay in one spot for that long!

I'm trying to decide how I want to promote literacy on my walls. I mentioned in a previous post that I used to have McDonald's inspired bulletin board for reading... the kids earn pipe-cleaner "French Fries" for a certain amount of pages read or AR points earned. But this year the 4th grade team is doing a Reading Passport (posts forthcoming), and there's no need for the wonderful reading BBs I've had in the past.

Thus begins the search for something new. I was thinking maybe something about reading genres, but it HAS to be interactive. I can't stand non-functional wall decor in my classroom. I googled and found this, which incorporates the genres, but is so much more! I think this might be a winner!

We'll see. I'd love to hear how you promote literacy on your classroom walls!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to Shhhh.... Not Quite Yet!

 Well, friends, here we are! It's mid-July, and you know what that means... Back to School is just around the corner! In every friendly neighborhood store, school supplies abound! If you're like me, you have a mixed reaction. A new year, new students, a fresh start... it's exciting! But, it's only July! I want to relax and enjoy my summer.... who am I kidding? I'd be a lost soul if not for constantly dreaming/scheming/planning for the school year.

So, I plan. And plan. And plan. I'm starting at a new school this year (hooray for being gainfully employed!!) in Indiana... 4th grade here I come! It always makes me nervous to start at a new school, though, because I haven't yet learned where to make copies, who to befriend (other than the janitors and secretaries, that is), and where to find things. I'll get there.

I started with a rough sketch of my classroom...

where the desks will go, the library, my desk, the whiteboard, the computers, etc. Thankfully, I was able to get into my classroom a few weeks ago and snap a few pictures. I've got a great room to start with, but it's so very bare!!

So now I'm working on dreaming up bulletin boards to work in my space... I'm big on functional bulletin boards--not strictly decorative. For example, back when I taught 3rd grade, I had this board to record how the kids were progressing on memorizing their division facts.

They earned a "gumball" sticker for every set of facts they memorized and were quizzed on (out of order, of course!).

Or this one, that I used for reading (the kids filled out slips and earned a "kernel" of popcorn to put in their bag (paper kernels) for every 100 pages they read. Top two readers got to have McDonald's lunch with me!

But, I have to invent some more or steal some ideas from other teachers. :) The 4th grade team at my school is doing a reading "Passport" (pictures to come in the next several weeks), so no need to take up a BB with my popcorn board, and by now the kids SHOULD know their math facts...

Hmmm... Ideas, anyone? I'm always looking for new and exciting bulletin boards!