Aug 2, 2015

Year Long Bulletin Boards

It is almost back to school time and that means getting your room ready. Do you love to do bulletin boards? Hate them? Well I am here to share with you what I do. I have a do them once and I’m done policy for the entire year. Really, I’m not kidding.

I am super excited to be joining Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans and Angie fromLucky Little Learners for their #2getherwearebetter link up all about those lovely bulletin boards. They put out an invite on Periscope, if you haven’t checked it out yet you totally should, to join them in August and September and share our bulletin boards and classroom reveals. Well I jumped at the chance, I'm so excited to team up with these and so many dynamic teacher bloggers.  

This month’s topic of bulletin boards can be fun for some and quite daunting for others. I love seeing all those beautiful theme bulletin boards all over Pinterest and although it seems like it would be so fun, I do like to craft, to have a new board or two every month, but let’s just get real. I am too set in my ways and lazy, if I am being honest, to change mine every month.  

So you may be asking what do I do? I want my room to look good and it must be functional, but I was looking for a way to do the work once and not have to do it again. Well, that is just what I do. I think bulletin boards should serve two purposes. Display student work and give relevant information that we are working on. We don’t have hallways at our school so all we have to worry about is inside our room, which helps lessen the load.

I have 2 boards to display student work in my room.  These both are super easy and nothing earth shattering. I saw this idea on Pinterest several years back. I have scrapbook paper, fadeless so it will last, one for each student up on the board. Then I have a clothespin, that I hot clued a thumbtack to the back of, hung above each piece of scrapbook paper. This allows me to put up new student pieces easily.

(This one doesn’t have the clothes pins yet, I am putting the new students names on them for this year.)

I usually put up new work every 2 weeks or so and almost always one of them is an art piece to do with our current theme so that is the decoration for our room.

 My room is a jungle theme so I chose titles for my boards to go along with that to keep it fun. To make my titles I took cute scrapbook paper and used our Ellison die cut machine to cut out all my letters. Then I put the cut out letters on another piece of scrapbook paper as a mat. Finally I laminated them for durability. If you use the fadeless paper they will last a long time. These two boards have been up in my room for going on 3 years now and still look fantastic!

The next fun board I have is another Pinterest find. What did we do before Pinterest?? Hahaha! Anywho, I don’t have the original pin since I have been using it since way before I started blogging, but here is another one I found. (Click here)

It uses duck tape, get what matches your room, and ziplock bags. You then make a “quilt” with as many squares as you need. Then each month I pick the students best piece of writing and slide it in the back of my quilt and back up on the wall it goes. It looks super cute and I made it once and again I have been using it over 3 years now.

This is what it would like like empty. (above)Then once it is filled with student work. (below)

 Besides student work boards my other most important board is my focus board (wall). This shows the students the concepts we are working on for the week. I think it is key for my littles to know what we are working on. They love it to. I put the new concepts up each Monday and they are always excited to come in and the see what we will be doing for the week.

I hung one piece of scrapbook paper, are you sensing a theme here…lol, for each area that I want to highlight. It is laminated and I put a title on the top, that I can change out over the course of the year with just a few staples. Then all of my letters, sight words, numbers, shapes, blends, digraphs…you get the picture I have printed out and laminated as well. I have them clipped together in order by weeks in my file cabinet. Friday after school I pull out our new concepts and staple them up, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 In my room wall space is at a premium. I have 3 large windows, I do love all the natural light,  and 4, yes 4, doors. My room was pretty small and last year when we got rid of our school computer lab next door to me, since we have computers in the classes 1:1, they took down the wall and expanded my room. Long explanation I know, but that is why I have 4 doors, lol. Anyway, I have to get creative to be able to display everything I need.  SO here it is, get a hot glue gun and USE it everywhere!

Yes I use almost every cabinet in my room to display information that we need. I even hot glue things to my doors. It peels off easy and you can change it out with out a big sticky mess, like tape, and it stays up. I even hot glue art pieces to my windows for decoration. My janitor was skeptical, but I assured him, it will come off no problem.

So going with this hot glue idea and cabinets I have just a few more things to share with you. (I just can’t figure out how to write short posts, lol).

For my birthday board I used the side of my file cabinet, Again I chose a saying that went with my jungle theme and I have one circle for each month with a ribbon in my room colors. Then on the first day of school I will be taking a picture of all the students with birthdays in each month. They will be holding a sign with their birthday (ex. 15th). Then those pictures will be put under each month of the year. Done. They love seeing each others pictures and go look at it often.

What do you do with all those wonderful pictures and letters your students give you. I made a board on my supply cabinet to hang them. Yes, I hot glued cork board and my title squares and now I just use thumb tacks to hang up my treasures. It is great to look at when you have had a rough day as well.

Like I said, hot glue is your friend, lol. Don't be afraid to use it. Every nook and cranny in your room can be bulletin board space.

I hope that you have gotten a few ideas that you can use in your room this year. I would love to read your comments and thoughts on what boards you plan to use in your room this year. Then head back over to the linky and see all the other fantastic ideas. Thanks again Ashley and Angie for this #2getherwearebetter linky. You guys totally rock!

Aug 1, 2015

August Currently

How can it be August already. It seemes like we just got out for summer break a week or so ago.  But since it is here, it is time to join one of my very favorite linky’s. Yes you guessed it, it is time for Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade’s Currently.

Here it is…

Listening…I have a new show on Netflix that I am loving… Hart of Dixie, I am half way through season one already. Its perfect for when I am working on the computer, you can keep caught up just by listening, lol. If you are looking for a fun, feel good series this will do it.

Loving…I have been working hard in my class getting it all set up. I have kept some things the same and changed a few things up a bit. Although I still have a lot to do, I am loving how it is coming together.
Thinking…How can my vacation be over, well in 3 days it will be. We start back for PD on Wednesday the 5th . The summers just seem to be going faster and faster.

Wanting…to go to the beach. We always go for at least a week or two during the summer, but his year it just didn’t happen. My son is racing in a new series and the schedule just didn’t leave many open weekends. Add to that the I Teach K and TPT Conferences in Vegas, a 3-day Tech Boot Camp, and some other family obligations and we just RAN. OUT. OF. TIME. Boo! It is one of my favorite places to just relax and recharge. We are going to go just for the day next weekend to see the waves and enjoy some of the best fish & chips around.  So I guess I’ll have to just be happy with that for now.

Needing…to finish up my year long planning calendar. I am wanting to make a few tweaks to my themes and I need to incorporate in a new reading program. Since we start school with kiddos the 10th I have moved it to the top of my to do list.

B2S Rak…this was perfect, since I have already been putting together some little gifts for my teammates. Nothing fancy, but just something to let them know I appreciate them and I am looing forward to our year together.

Be sure to go back and check out all the other posts at Farley's. Have a great week!