This week our district is holding conferences. As I left tonight to come home, I thought about some of my parent comments… things like “thank you for being such a wonderful teacher,” “my child loves you,” “your class is always so organized,” and “what cute things you have up on the bulletin boards.”
So it got me thinking about this post, especially the “cute things” comment. Yes, I love my little kinders and they love me. Yes, I am organized… it’s a necessity. And, yes, I love creating a warm and inviting space for my kiddos (kid friendly cute stuff). But most of all, I love when all of these things are wrapped up into one big bundle AND meet the standards I am expected to teach.
Here’s How I Create “Kid-Cute” Bulletin Boards WHILE Meeting the Common Core Writing Standards
1. All of my art projects center around the theme I am teaching whether it be a holiday or the theme from my school’s adopted language arts, math, science or social studies theme. In the picture above, we read lots of Dr. Seuss books before this board was created. More specifically, the finality of this board came from “Cat in the Hat.”
2. Before completing an art project, I first teach about the subject using numerous books and other resources. Then, we have lots of discussions in whole groups and pairs to learn from each other. In this example, my students love Thing 1 and 2 in the story which led to great discussions on descriptive vocabulary (as seen on the red graphic organizer). In fact, Thing 1 and Thing 2 were caught in our class being “reckless” with their kites! We then spent more time talking about a time when we were being messy, reckless, and naughty like the Things and making a text to self connection.
3. After completing the initial learning and art project, we spend another day reviewing the information we learned and discussing what we can write about. In this sample, we spent the first day creating a graphic organizer (thinking map) and writing interactively as a whole group. My students all wrote on whiteboards as children were selected to share the pen on the small yellow papers you see in the picture. I use the same 2 colors when writing interactively – blue for the kids and green for me. They understand that blue is what they know and green is what I help them with.
4. Finally, we complete another writing task through shared writing, interactive writing, or independent writing. In this case, I pulled my small reading / writing groups, we reviewed what we learned, and then students chose what they wanted write about. As you can see in the picture, students wrote a sentence they originated. After the initial writing, students then edit and revise in small groups before it goes up on the board.
“They knocked down chairs.”
“They flew a kite.”5. Last of all, these bulletin boards become interactive during our reader’s workshop station time. Students use many props to read the room… pointers, glasses, magnifying lenses, etc. They never seem to tire of reading the sentences they wrote along with their original art pieces.
So, if you are new to teaching, moved grade levels, or just need some inspiration on how to create such an environment while keeping to the standards, try out some of the ideas here. It’s a great way to engage students critical thinking and comprehension, phonemic awareness, phonics and writing skills, artistic ability, fine motor skills, and even help them work collaboratively in small groups and / or pairs.
Find More Ideas Below…
Interactive & Independent Writing
In what other ways do you create cute bulletin boards that meet common core standards?
Don’t forget to share your ideas…. leave a comment with your blog and /or pinterest url…