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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snowy Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards are one of those things that are both a blessing a curse. On the plus side, they can really make your room look adorable. They serve as a wonderful way to present and celebrate your student's work. They are fabulous learning tools. My favorite boards are the ones that the students refer to often and help cement that newly found schema.

Here are a couple pictures of my New Year Penguin bulletin board. My plan is to add one of their Winter Writing Activities to the upper half.

Aren't the snowy hills fun? January's classroom is a virtual "winter wonderland". As I've explained before, I change my bulletin boards a lot. Each month, every single bulletin board comes down and new ones go up in their place. This is the whole "curse" part of the "blessing and a curse" of bulletin boards. Sometimes this whole taking them down and putting them up is SUPER time consuming.

Over the years I have implemented an assortment of things that make this job a little easier. Here are my top two key items.
1. I never use staples to put up the kids' work. 
I've seen some teachers use the paperclip method. This is where you staple up a piece of colorful construction paper for each child and then whenever you want to put something of theirs on the board, you use the paperclip to hold it to the construction paper. It is easy and super fast. But it doesn't work for me because I like to move the things around. Plus... If I had done that, those penguins wouldn't have been playing in the snow!

I use T-pins to put up my kiddos' work. 

The pins don't damage the background. They don't stay in the wall so that I have to pull them out and drop them on the floor later. They don't damage the kids' work. 

2. I avoid using butcher paper whenever possible.
First of all, the fire-retardant butcher paper doesn't last, it feels weird and it fades quickly. That is the only kind of paper we are permitted to put up on the walls. Fabric looks great and lasts for a gobzillion years. And, if you choose a neutral color, you never have to change it. I mostly use a deep royal blue on my walls. That blue serves as the sky or the water, or just a neutral color for everything we do. The blue fabric stays up all year and I add to it each month as needed.

I've used tablecloths, placemats, even a little baby comforter. I love that I can reuse this stuff again and again. It's great not to have to fuss with fading, ripping, and difficult to manage paper.

In January I add batting all around the room.

Yep... this stuff.
You can pick it up at any fabric store or Walmart's sewing department. It's very affordable. I unfold it and smoosh it around a bit as I drag it across the bottom of my bulletin boards. Tuck a little here, bend a little there and it looks just like snow. It adds the best 3-dimensional element to the walls. I LOVE adding 3D touches whenever I can.

When I take down the boards for February, I will just fold the stuff back up and put it in my January cupboard so it will be ready for next year.

                                            
We are still working on the Antarctic habitat. We will be delving a little bit into Our Place in the World and take a look at maps. We will be using Super Penguin to write with descriptive and interesting verbs throughout the week. In math, our primary focus is on comparing numbers. Calling All Things Big and Small is a board game in the Winter Math Games pack that provides the kids a chance to practice this skills using adorable beach loving penguins and alligators. {It has been freezing here in SoCal - so anything beach related sounds wonderful and fabulously warm at this point!}
       



As much as it is healthier to live in the moment, we just can't as teachers. We are always thinking ahead to what needs to be planned and prepped next. Groundhogs day is next on the agenda. Love this cutie. The Groundhog Phil's Fascinating World pack includes the adorable craftivity and a descriptive writing lesson and activity as well.

Do you have any bulletin board secrets and tips? I'd love to hear about them. :D

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7 comments:

  1. Everything is so so cute and I love your new design!!!

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  2. Hey Traci! I love your new design. You did a fabulous job!!
    I also like the way you do bulletin boards. I think I'll switch to fabric next year. What kind of pins do you use? Just straight sewing pins? The snow batting looks awesome, too.
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is SNOW much fun!!! I just love your 3D snow effect!!
    The Moffatt Girls

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  4. Hi Traci -
    I love adding batting for winter scenes. Good tip on the t-pins. I love those things and always forget to use them. Luckily I have strong nails because I reposition and pull those staples out...t pins would be soo much easier. :o)
    Vicky

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  5. I HATE bulletin boards (putting them up that is) :) so these tips help! And your bulletin boards are always so cute! Hope you're having a great week Traci! :)

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  6. Your New Year's Penguins are adorable!! We can only use fire retardant paper as well, kinda a pain...Everything you do always looks wonderful!!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized
    amyhowbert1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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