Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Bulletin Boards

Things have been crazy lately (of course).  To show solidarity as a union we've been only working to contract hours.  I hate that.  I'm one of those people who gets to work 30 minutes before we need to be there and stays usually an hour past when we can leave (sometimes longer), so this has been killing me.  Without my extra time I've been feeling like a chicken with my head cut off because I'm rushing to get as much done as I can while I'm there.  Luckily our union has come up with something else so starting Wednesday we don't have to do that anymore and I'll have some sanity back (I hope).  lol  The lucky thing is that I have scrapbooking club after school tomorrow anyway so I can stay and get some stuff done while that's going on.  Woohoo!  :)  We had a meeting today after school so we could stay and work on some stuff too and that's when I switched out one of my bulletin boards and took pictures of them to share with you.  :)
As I've mentioned in past posts, one of my teammates and I share a wall.  We open the wall during Daily 5 time to do guided reading book clubs and the Daily 5 centers.  We always did centers before we learned the Daily 5, but what the sisters said in that book hit home with us.  It was just more work for us and we didn't know how meaningful it actually was for the kids.  So we got on board with Daily 5 and love it.  There was just one thing we could not part with though from our old centers and that was "Art of the Week."  For "Art of the Week"  we'd introduce an art project on Monday.  I would show both classes my example and teach them how to do it.  All of the art supplies were on the counter in my classroom and the "Art of the Week" was a Must Do on a center ticket we had.  We could not give up doing art with our kiddos because we love it so much.  So we put it in as one of the Work on Writing choices because we almost always have a writing component with our art project.  We also made it a choice (most of the time) so that way those who aren't big into art or good at it, didn't have to do it (there are some weeks the "art of the week" is the Mother's Day present, so they have to do it).  It's worked out very well that way for all of us.
So this first bulletin board is of our ice cream cones.  As a fun September art project and a way to introduce "Art of the Week" to the students we do this project in a celebration of the patent of the ice cream cone.  The funny thing is that one guy says he created it on September 22, 1903 and another guy says he did it on September 23, 1903.  So around that time we let the students create their own cones.  The rules are that they have to have a least 3 scoops, they can have as many more as they want, but at least 3.  Also, they have to be able to write about everything they put on their ice cream cone.  So if they want to make 20 scoops that's fine, but they have to write about all 20 scoops.  It's a cute project and the kids enjoy it.
As you can see, they vary in size.  lol  They add a fun bright display in our room though.  We also have to post by our bulletin boards what the students are learning or practicing by doing the activity.  So at the top you'll see my title and my learning standards.  The far left has the explanation of the ice cream patent.  (The green border seam down the middle is one of the areas where the wall opens up so I have to keep the bulletin boards separate but I use it as one.  This bulletin board came down this afternoon to make room for the fun Halloween project we had as "Art of the Week" last week.
So last week we kicked off our Daily 5 centers and rotation and did this art project that my teammate and I love.  We've been doing it the last few years because we just love it!  She brought it over from one of her previous schools she taught at and has always shared her tracers with my class and me.
So for these the student use a 12 x 18 sheet of yellow paper and black paper.  The tracers were made a long time ago from some large manilla folders they had, but this year we made more by using a file folder unfolded.  One of the tracers is solid and that's the one they use to trace on the yellow sheet of paper.  The other tracer has window holes in that they use to trace on the black paper.  Then they have to go back in and cut on 3 of the 4 sides of the windows so they can open and close.  Behind the openings are secret pictures.  I always show them to cut the windows by folding on one of the lines of the window and making a cut big enough for the scissors to fit in and go around.  We say it doesn't matter if it looks ragged because it's a haunted house!  Then they have to write about their haunted house or can write a story to go with the house.  These take the kids a long time (I still have some who aren't done with it!), but they are definitely worth it!  

You can see some of the creatures hidden behind the windows (I opened them for the picture).
This next bulletin board was another practice for "Art of the Week" before we started it for real.  
The good old fall tissue paper tree.  :)  So if you don't know this one, here's how it works.  The students get a brown 9 x 12 piece of paper and trace their arm and hand (fingers spread apart) to be the tree (trunk and branches).  They glue this on one side of a blue 12 x 18 sheet of paper (to act like the sky).  Then they take small tissue paper squares of different fall colors.  One square at a time, they wrap the tissue paper around the eraser on their pencil and swirl it around the top of a glue stick (careful not to dig into it).  They then hold it down where they want on their tree and carefully remove the pencil.  They could add as many or as little as they like.  A lot of them have a ladder, apple basket, and pile of leaves because that's what my example had and they wanted to copy (sincerest form of flattery right?  lol).  After they finished, they had to write about fall.  Always so funny to me that you have to tell them to add more details.  "Where's your grass, your tree is floating in the air."  I also love how skinny some of those trunks are.  lol  They turn out so cute and different.  

The last bulletin board is nothing snazzy.  It's our science bulletin board.  I made this printable a few years ago.  Now I wish I had changed the words on it so maybe someday I'll go back and re-do it.  I was going to give it away as a freebie, but I can't find it on either computer so maybe I got rid of it already.  We were learning about the 3 different forms of mater and the students had to draw something for each category to show what they knew about matter.  
This will be coming down soon too because now we're starting Living Things Grow and Change to go with our reading series (Unit 2 is Grow and Change).  The first chapter is Plants grow and change and our story for this week is The Tiny Seed.  
So there are my bulletin boards for now.  I'll take more pics when the next ones go up.  :)


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