teacher tidbit – bulletin boards

Here are some fun bulletin boards that I have created over the past 4 years of teaching 1st grade. Hope it inspires you to get creative, think out of the box, and go 3D…

This is a project I send home at Parent Orientation. At first there are just generic monkey die cuts hanging from the twine clotheslines. Then as the parents submit their palm trees and on the first day of school the students complete their monkeys they get put on paper together. The parents write on the trunk of their palm tree 3-4 things they love about their First Grader. They turn out fantastic.
I have also done daisies (parent) and ladybug (student) or stair steps (parent) with shoes (student) depending on my classroom theme that year.

These two are collaborative piece of art. I trace the outline and the First Grade Friends create the mosaic. They made great Auction Projects later in the year. I took a photograph, had it framed, and the kids signed the mats in fun colors. Then the print went in an Eric Carle themed basket.
I added Henry the Turkey to my Thanksgiving Wall this year. Each child did a feather as a homework assignment and wrote on it something they were thankful for. I laminated Henry so I can use him again and again.
The main bulletin board has letters that the First Graders wrote to a Pilgrim Girl and Wampanoag Boy. Scholastic sends me 3 letters from each throughout the month of November and we write back in response. We use new vocabulary and also a formal letter writing greeting and salutation.
At Christmas the students create 3-D manger scenes and write “Dear Baby Jesus” letters.
The “World’s Larges Snowflakes” were the talk of the school when I created them this year.
They are great for January and even into the beginning of February just as a back drop.
During this quarter we have a formal Art instructor so she creates piece of art, gives us an explanation of what they learned and I use it to inspire creative writing in our Writer’s Notebooks.
More Art from time with our Art instructor.
This was the fist year I have done this. I created this for our Open House in the end of January and just put up a smattering of things we have done so far. It was a huge hit and really fun to see our progress even so far.
This is the first piece of writing that we take all the way through the creative writing process: brainstorm, pre-write, first draft, edit conference with an adult, final draft (and later we will publish in the computer lab).
This was the board in 2009

They create their art by selecting (from the book) eyes, noses, ears, hair etc. that resemble their own.
I also have them pick out features that make them different then the faces in the book or different from other people (dark eyelashes or eyebrows, missing a tooth, pink cheeks etc.)
We name our skin (they think of a food that is the color of their skin and I help add a poetic ring). Some examples from this year are…
 Happy Hard Boiled Egg Skin
Wonder Bread White Skin
Special Pizza Dough Skin
Coffee Cake Spice Skin
Cotton Candy Spun Sugar Skin
Applesauce Sweet Skin
French Vanilla Dream Skin
We work together to create these and I am always amazed at how much they actually look like the children. Here is the board from 2011.
The 100th Day of School is always a special day and in First Grade we make a really big deal out of it.
A week before the 100th day I send home our homework bags with a large white piece of paper 11X17 and all the directions they get are to “Create a piece of art from 100 of an item.” And I give a few examples like… pasta, cotton balls, candy etc.
We also draw ourselves, what we look like now, and what we’ll look like when we are 100. This is usually up around Valentine’s Day (usually close to the 100th day of school) and we invite our Grandparents for a Luncheon where we eat heart-shaped grilled cheese and tomato soup. The Grandparents usually LOVE their 100 year old selves and how they view “getting old.” It’s always a huge hit!
We also create lists of 100 things. This one is 100 things we are thankful for.
Inside the room I do a Valentine’s Day board….
Later in March I select a few stories to put up step by step on my board to illustrate the Creative Writing Process: brainstorm, pre-write, first draft, edit conference, final draft, and published draft. Each student has a piece of work hanging from the clothesline below (I use the clotheslines a lot – that’s actually what inspired my blog’s name) and then a few exceptional ones are posted in the step by step way.
The past 2 years our school has participated in a fundraiser that supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals  called “Kids Taking Photos For Kids” (KTPK)
We honored children from our school that have stayed or been treated at Children’s Hospitals, and the students hear from Miss West Sound. (The first Miss West Sound was a photographer). She talked about passion and encourages them to take a photo of something they are passionate about. They frame it and donate it to the auction. Then we have a BIG silent auction night with performers, desserts etc. and all the proceeds to to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

I take images from past years of the auction and post them on the board, inviting everyone to come. Then on the shelves below I put out photos that are donated and will be up for auction. 10-12 schools participate so this is only the sampling from our school.

Skipping a few of the Spring months but at the end of the year I put up the same bulletin board but I have the outgoing First Grade Friends write to the incoming First Grade Friends about what they like best about 1st grade, what was hardest, tips they’d like to share etc.
Then at the beginning of the year I just trade out what is on the clotheslines and it’s up all summer for the tours that go through. Very fun!

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  1. These bulletin boards are amazing! I'm so glad I'm following your blog because hopefully next year at this time I'll be making my own bulletin boards for my classroom! Such great ideas and beautiful- thanks for sharing!

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