Tuesday, August 19, 2014

You, Crafty Cookie!

It’s a lot of fun to see how excited kids get about decorating; and to be honest, it’s partly because I share in their excitement. One of the best parts, and often most daunting parts, about classroom decorating is the vast, blank canvas of bulletin boards. I could spend hours (and am slightly embarrassed to say that in the past I have spent hours) putting together a fun and educational bulletin board. But sometimes it’s just not possible to put in the time you would like. That’s when I like to call in my troops, because after all, it’s their classroom, too!

Students take ownership and pride in their work when they are given the chance to create a class bulletin board. Here’s a new one our class did at the beginning of the school year. The white poster on the right is a puzzle. Each student had a piece of the puzzle to fill with pictures. The pieces showed us a little bit about each classmate and illustrated that they make up one community.

On a later day, the students illustrated a flag banner based on a character skill we wanted to see in our class: patience, respect, generous, etc. The list of character words came from our reading of “Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and words the students brainstormed after our book study.

This activity established a sense of community while nurturing their hearts to be mindful and considerate of others. Afterwards, the students were on the lookout for these character skills among their classmates and school friends, sharing with me when someone demonstrated their word.

So, go grab yourself some cookies and come back to talk. What bulletin boards do you create at the beginning of the school year?

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