Friday, January 15, 2016

My I-Can't-Live-Without Bulletin Board

Do you have a bulletin board you put up every year? A must have? A my-classroom-isn't-complete-without-this-bulletin-board bulletin board? I do! It's my favorite. It's my students' favorite. They seriously try everything they can to get on this bulletin board. They use all of the creativity they can find to see their writing up there.

So what is it? I'll tell you. . .
2nd grade writing
It's my Golden Lines bulletin board.

So, what are golden lines? They are the best and most creative sentence (or two or three) in a student's writing. The sentences that have detail. The sentences that use something you've taught them. Maybe it's the adjectives, or the compound sentences, or the commas in the series, or the sentence that uses voice.

Whatever it is, it sticks out. And sometimes, it's just that sentence that your struggling student is SOOO proud of!

This board has become my favorite board over the years. It highlights my students' writing and I love it!
primary writing ideas
As a teacher, you know that writing can be very difficult. And although the entire piece of writing may need some work, there's gotta be something in each student's writing that is special, right? Right!

Look at this line! I had to do the writing here, but this was not my idea. This was a student's idea. His Golden Line.
struggling writers
Each line that is posted is special. It has meaning. It may be the most amazing sentence you've seen from a student. Or it could be the most amazing sentence you've seen from THAT student. Whatever it is, it's a place to make kids feel like they're successful.
bulletin boards
And why not let kids choose their favorite lines? Highlighters make everything better!
 student choice
And there it is! The bulletin board I can't live without. The bulletin board that stirs up creativity.

So, what's yours?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Valentine's Day in January! (?)

It didn't take long for stores to bring out the Valentine's Day stuff. The poor Christmas stuff is packed in a corner at about 50% off. And once all of the good stuff is gone, the rest will be at 70% off.

But being the girly girl that I am, I am drawn to the pinks and reds of Valentine's Day. The heart shaped cookie cutters and cute little cards make me so happy.

I've been teaching 2nd grade for years now, and one thing I know is that 2nd graders LOVE Valentine's Day. Or, as they would call it, Valentime's Day.

They love when they receive their little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or Frozen Valentine cards. And somehow. . . Somehow! They know when somebody has forgotten to give them a card. Amazing since some can't seem to find the pencil that somebody "stole" that's right under their chair. Hmm. Interesting.

This year, as I walked through the aisles at Target (every teacher's favorite store), I came across the Valentine aisle. I saw all of the cute little bags o' stuff, which were obviously made for my classroom. There are 24 items in each bag, and this year I have been blessed with 24 amazing little 2nd graders. Perfect!

And that's when it came to me! Valentine's Day in January! One day to make each child feel special and for each child to look forward to. Each day leading up to Valentine's Day, one student will be chosen to be "bitten by the love bug." A small mailbox will be placed on his or her desk filled with some goodies and a cute little note. Get the note here :)

I thought it might be a little early, but then I did the math. . . 19 school days in January (minus one for a meeting I'll be at). 10 days in February. The 10th day being February 12th, the day we'll celebrate "Valentime's Day." Therefore, I must begin in January to give each child his or her special day.
There's nothing better than bringing smiles to our students' faces.
As teachers, me included, we get caught up in the pacing calendars and the deadlines. It's so important to me for my students to love coming to school and to feel loved. Anything I can do to support this, I'm happy to do. I'm excited to get this started! What do you do to make each child feel special?
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