Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bulletin Board Ideas for next year

I get to be creative again with my bulletin boards!

In high school, I was class vice president. (Vice for Vice, see how well that campaign worked out?)  At Arizona State, I was a RA/CA (community assistant) with Residential Life.  This month marks year six of teaching.

So I've spent a lot of time with bulletin boards over the past decade(s).  This is a good thing...because I love them.  I love making them cute and showing off student work.

I'm at a new school, which means I can recycle old bulletin board ideas for a new audience!  This minimizes my prep work and well, who doesn't love that?

(I've also included the Common Core State Standards that I'll be teaching/assessing with each bulletin board.  You can read more about the standards here)


I was thinking some sort of Harry Potter themed "word wizards" display with types of syllables.  I don't know how much phonics instruction has been given in the past, but I like to start phonics instruction with going over the six types of syllables.  By knowing how to break apart words, students will get to practice reading those larger multisyllabic words.  They'll also get practice looking for affixes and roots, which aids in their comprehension.  I'm thinking some sort of foldable where they break apart their own names and justify the syllable types underneath.  I'll add a written component about how this helps them as readers, so they have to justify their thinking.  I'll also have them find words from their own novels to break apart as well, thus giving them some ownership.

CCSS RF 5.3a, L54b


By this point, we should be editing and revising our written pieces with Being a Writer.  I will do a mini-lesson on dead (zombie) words.  For those not in the know, these awful words like to pop up in fifth grade writing samples.  These words belong in primary writing samples, but have no business in upper elementary!  Zombie words include transitions such as first, next, last.  Zombie words are dead words that just keep reappearing.  I'm sick of said.  I'm sick of reading "good" and "bad".  We need more alive words!

So I'll reuse this idea (mainly the drawings...those took a while!):

To make this bulletin board more rigorous, I'll display their final drafts with copies of their rough drafts underneath.  That way, viewers can see that writing (like learning) is a process.  They'll be able to see authentic student work that has been revised and edited with the purpose of eliminating dead (zombie) words.

CCSS W52d, W53c, W54, W510, L52e, L56


By this point, my students have hopefully finished several novels, making my theme work bulletin board an appropriate choice.  Given that November is full of three day weeks, this would be an easy writing/reading project that students could finish at home.

I'd have them compare two novels within the same genre, focusing on how the author reveals the theme through characters' actions.  This would be guided at first, but then students would write independently.  Since I don't think I'll be doing full novel read alouds, I'd probably model this with poetry and have them practice with novels.  I'm hoping to have students that have read the same books so they can bounce ideas off of one another.  I'm also fully aware they might not be ready for this yet and my November bulletin board will become March's instead.

RL 5.9, RL 5.2


I haven't made my long range plans yet, but I can safely assume that by December, we've covered figurative language.  Most likely several times.

Which means a bulletin board all about idioms!

Since I assume many of my students will be English Language Learners, explicitly teaching figurative language is crucial.  I can even have them find examples of figurative language in their text, thus allowing for an opportunity to not only practice quoting accurately but also justify their thinking with a written response.  (Or a typed response, we'll incorporate technology as well!)

RL 5.1, L5.5a, L5.5b


"What's Your Problem?"

Yes, time for a math bulletin board.  I will give them a solution and they have to come up with appropriate, reasonable questions that would yield my answer(s).  This ties in with the eight mathematical practices and would have students use a variety of models and strategies to defend their questions.  This would be easily differentiated and I could have those fast finishers come up with a second problem.  This could easily be a spiral review of concepts where I could strategically differentiate based on which domain students need the extra practice.

CCSS: most of the math ones :)

SMP: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
(Rigorous math activities should use most, if not all, of the 8 math practices...just an FYI!)


I'm torn.  I have two ideas for February, both holiday-related...ish.

The first: book crushes

Students would use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast two characters (their book crushes).  They would write a written response about both characters, using evidence from the text(s). 

RL 5.3, RL 5.1, W59a

The second idea: persuasive letters to George

(graphic organizer (by Ginger Snaps) and mentor text)

By now, I hope we've covered both persuasive writing and the American revolution.  I'd have students examine a historical view point and write a letter to either King George or General George Washington.  Students can choose to be loyalists or patriots and choose which leader they're writing to. I'd push the higher kids to pick a less popular perspective or to write from a neutral perspective.  This would incorporate informational texts, quoting accurately, persuasive writing, perspective of the narrator, and a bit of research.

CCSS RI 5.1, RI 5.3, RI 5.4, RI 5.6, RI 5.7, RI 5.8, RI 5.9, W51  (plus history & civics/government standards)


Mad Scientist March has a nice ring to it...

I know we are rolling out the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), so I'm not entirely sure what this will look like.  I know my new coaches mentioned going to lots of trainings and researching our school's science options before picking these green boxes.  I'm excited to learn more about NGSS and STEM :)

Perhaps this is where they could display their own inquiry projects and scientific proposals?

April and May...TBD. 

Maybe bookopoly again?

 I planned out eight months worth of bulletin boards...I think my brain can safely shut down for the evening.

What are your bulletin board ideas for next year?

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