Preparing for students involves one of many tasks that may seem tedious. The one task I am speaking of is creating bulletin boards. Excuse me, creating BANGING, bulletin boards. When I say "Banging" bulletin boards I am not referring to the aesthetic component of the boards, but the content of the board.
Bulletin boards are meant to showcase student work. It is also one big way we are judged as teachers. When visitors enter a room, the first thing they do is read the walls.This gives visitors an idea of what is going on in the classroom.
If nothing is posted, a visitor will wonder about what is going on in the classroom. If there is lots of student work posted then a visitor will have an understanding of what is happening in the room. If this visitor happens to be a principal and there is nothing posted or worksheets only, then you may become the object of your principal's affection (not in a good way).
Here is a blueprint for creating living, breathing, BANGING, bulletin boards. Each bulletin board should include:
1) Boards for Curricular Areas/Periods
Boards should be created for the core curricular areas: ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies. If you have multiple periods then a board should be created to showcase the work of students from each period.
2) Board Title
Every board should clearly labeled with the subject area. For example, you can have labels like Math Maniacs, Serving up Science, Handing DownHistory, The Social Scene, Reading’s a Riot or whatever you want to name them (but I'm a sucker for alliteration). If you have multiple periods, these boards should be clearly labeled as well. For example, The Math Maniacs – Period 1. If you teach a single subject, allow the class to come up with a name for their period, as well as their, bulletin board. It can be something like the Period 1 Pirates.
3) Relevant Standard
Each board should have a corresponding standard. Visitors will want to know what the student was required to do, or what standard this activity matches.
4) Authentic Writing /Writing Process
Boards should not be laced with ditto sheets, cloze activities and multiple choice test. Student work should show authentic writing. Students should be constructing answers, and showcasing their thoughts. Show more open ended work. Projects, brochures, diagrams with labels explanations, and foldables, etc. Authentic work happens when students are creating and constructing ideas and thoughts. When students create, they are engaging in DOK levels 3 and 4.
5) Academic vocabulary
Academic vocabulary should be present on each board. This vocabulary can lesson or unit based words, high utility words, high frequency words or test prep words. Words that are important should be on a board or in the room for the entire school year.
6) Relevant artifacts
Students should be encouraged and rewarded for bringing in artifacts, drawings, pictures, poems, or words that will enhance their learning of the concept, subject or standard placed on the board.The board should be interactive, living and breathing; constantly shifting and changing.
7) Recent Date
Have recent work posted on bulletin boards from the current month or maybe the month before. The work should be no more than two months old. If in the month of February, Work should be no older than December.
So there you have it, your bulletin board blu
eprint. This will help you keep the principal off of your back.
Until next time,
Peace,Blessings and Progress