Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Keeping It Fresh

Not every teacher is going to be perfect.

I had to admit that to my OCD, anal-retentive self during my first year of teaching. Although I prize myself on my organizational skills and ability to create marvelous art projects out of a toilet paper roll, I do fall short in other areas.

Keeping up my classroom bulletin boards is one such pitfall. I lack the time (both to prepare what goes on the board and the time it takes to actually staple or put the projects/work up on the board) to keep changing my boards on a regular basis. I'm lucky if I get a few changes up each month. 

We have a writing portfolio wall which we produce writing samples for every Friday. This helps keep "fresh" work on the walls. 

Our science and social studies boards tend to revolve around our thematic units - some which take a couple weeks to get through. Work is put up at the beginning of a unit and taken down at the end.

And then there's my dreaded math board - the bane of my (bulletin board) existence! We started using Eureka Math this year which is a great program but there are a lot of hands-on activities - activities where my students are using manipulatives or whiteboards. I can't very well post those. 

So I started this week by asking my aides to review one of the "application problems" with their grade level group and have the students solve a similar problem. The activity turned out pretty good - it provided students who were struggling with particular concepts an additional opportunity for practice, while giving those that had it down the opportunity to be peer coaches (something my behavioral students really need!) 

Here's what our end product looked like…

It may not be "cutesy" or something out of Lakeshore Learning's catalog, but - for our classroom - it works.

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