For all my teacher friends out there, this turned out to be an awesome all school bulletin board. We asked all the students to bring in one of their favorite books for our Havurot group on Friday. Basically, our whole school separates into small groups of 6 or 7 once a month for the whole year to work on different projects. It’s really nice because kids of all ages get to work together and learn together. Anyway, each student brought in their own book and those that forgot, got to take one out of the library or look up the cover on a computer or iPad. We talked about each book in our group and then had about a half hour to create our own book covers to recommend our books to others.
Some kids created their own art, but most copied the covers. We don’t do copying very often, if ever, but I have to say, they LOVED it. Every age group was successful and the overall effect is pretty spectacular. It’s so much fun to see kids walk by and comment on the different covers. You hear things like “Ohhh, I love that book.” or “Oh man, I wish I did that one. That is so my favorite.” All the parents love to come by and find their child’s cover. Each time I pass I notice a different fantastic cover I hadn’t noticed before. The most popular books wereThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which I can’t wait to read this summer. I think eight kids did Wonder. So, if you’re looking for a great bulletin board for your school, here’s a great one. I’ve included the book template to make it easy. We printed it on card stock and only gave the kids sharpies to use.
One of the many awesome Wonder examples.
We have about 200 students in our school so I had to find room in a different area for all the covers. Those little clothespins are the cutest.
I love that the kindergarteners book covers are just as awesome as the sixth graders.
Here is the clip art we used, photocopied onto white card stock. I only had this picture of it blank which you can print, enlarge and trace if you want.
I’m happy this bulletin will live throughout the summer. I’m going to put up a little envelope on the side with papers and little pencils so that kids can write down which books they are interested for summer reading. Happy summer everyone!
My 2nd graders recently finished the book Frindle, by Andrew Clements. They absolutely loved it. We have been learning about summaries, so Frindle created the perfect opportunity to practice this newly acquired skill. First I cut up some left over cardboard boxes in different sizes and folded them into books. Then we (the teachers) glued on contact paper to the front, back and inside. This was a bit time consuming but worth the effort. If we had had more time the kids could have done this part. Each child picked their own book and went to work on their summary. Once they were all edited, the kids went over them in Sharpie and worked on their covers and back flaps.
I brought in my washi tape collection and let the kids pick different designs for borders on each page. One of the kids in my class is in Japan right now for Spring break. Maybe he’ll bring back some washi! I know not all teachers want to share their beloved washi collection with their class. Understood. You can easily use masking tape in different colors and widths or just leave this part out. The last detail was a little felt and velcro to create a latch on each book. It was a great final touch the kids really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the velcro didn’t hold very well on some of the books. Still figuring that one out. I guess I can use a glue gun.
We asked two students to help create a Frindle poster for the center of the bulletin board. It came out incredible and is hanging front and center outside our classroom. So proud of these kids!
We just put up our annual pumpkin patch bulletin. The kids always love this one. We explore real pumpkins, roast pumpkin seeds, do a TLC scarecrow and paint pumpkins. All really fun.
There are many ways to motivate kids to do great things. This is one way I’ve used year after year. I find that it really works and sends a great message to the class that kindness matters. I just cut out a bunch of leaves and every time I see the class, an individual or a group of kids doing something great, I give them a leaf on the tree. We count the leaves every time we get a new one. Soon we’ll count by twos and do other extended math activities with the leaves. Fortunately for everyone the tree is filling up fast. I made it out of this great recycled paper from Williams Sonoma packaging from Gaemi.
Last year we kicked off the year with a pirate theme in kindergarten. It worked so well, we did it again this year. Here are our brand spankin’ new bulletin boards outside the K classrooms. All of the rooms got revamped over the summer, so we have new bulletins outside and inside. No more butcher paper. It’s a sleek, more eco-friendly look and feel now. I dig it.
Man, setting up a classroom is no joke. Brigitte and I spent HOURS getting the room ready for this Tuesday’s Open House. We are officially complete. YES. The furniture is moved. The cubbies are labeled. The bulletins are covered. Now it’s plan mode. I’ve been reading a bunch of Kindergarten and early education blogs for inspiration. Here are some favs.
Chalk Talk: A kindergarten Blog
This one is particularly fantastic Teacher Tom
The Science Mommy
Check out these great ways to repurpose in the classroom. Almost everything in these photos was created by reusing materials and making them better or at least different. I am psyched to see how these special touches inspire my kindergartners to do their own repurposing and reusing.
Clockwise from top left: 1. An empty milk carton with a cardboard tube poked through, wrapped in duct tape and an old label. How cute is that?! 2. Cut out letters from PaperSource Catalog-one of my favs-for our class work wheel. 3. Decoupaged tin can for pencils. Paper from LA Parent Mag. 4. Our “new” word wall from an old set of alphabet cards, already laminated and cut in half and every other card turned upside down. 5. A modge podged shelving unit from paper from LA Parent Mag. 6. Our daily routine bulletin board. I took a photo of the best Kinder Activity boards at Lakeshore and just made one myself. 7. My fav bulletin-our Kindergarten Kindness Tree. (Almost) Everything on here is recycled from somewhere. The tree is made from that amazing new eco-friendly packaging from Geami. The border is old ribbon I had in the house. And the words are cut out from a Whole Foods shopping bag. Every time someone does something nice, a leaf will be added to the tree in their honor. Awwww….: ) Oh, and the welcome bunting is made from donated fabrics and scraps from MY BABY CLOTHES! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! (I don’t know what that means, but it seemed appropriate there)
ENJOY! And thanks for visiting!!!
Some close ups
Woah, it’s been a loooong week setting up my classroom for back to school next week. Long but really fun and exciting. It’s definitely not done yet, but much progress has been made. Here are some homemade highlights:
International Silks and Woolens was nice enough to donate some fabric to our classroom so I made the cute little red and cream pillow above. It gave our couch a perfect little facelift.
I’ve been collecting recyclables from around the house all summer. I got out the spray paint today and went wild. The water bottles took to the paint best. The toilet paper rolls didn’t go as well as I had hoped. In the end though, everything had a nice yellow tint.
Everything dried in ten minutes, which was pretty cool. Then I stapled and hot glued gunned the best pieces to make this super cool bulletin board. I LOVE IT! Really cool and a great conversation piece for the kids.
By the end of today I was totally exhausted and needed to sit, so I worked on labels for a while. I am trying to reuse and repurpose as much as possible, so I found some old cardboard and made these labels for some of our art supplies. I think I’ll use cardboard for all the other labels as well. I like how thick they are. It’s somehow very satisfying to me.
This our main art supply area. It’s a fabulous buffet of everything from paint brushes to rubber bands. Everything is set up at the perfect height for the kids to experiment with. I love this thing.
And last but not least, thank you IKEA! THe lids may be a little flimsy, but the clear windows on these rule. Well done.
I’m resting all weekend and then back in the classroom Monday for bulletin boards, more labels and planning. It’s going to be a great year.
You can see more photos of my classroom here