Sunday, August 2, 2015

All things bulletin boards

I am so excited for the up coming school year.  I will be moving from teaching Special Education in an inclusion setting to teaching first grade.  I am saying to myself, "Yikes and Yay!" all at the same time.  One very excited part of the upcoming school year is having my very own classroom to decorate, organize, and make special for my students.  I have already been working many hours in my new classroom cleaning, organizing, planning and more.  Not to mention, guess what is smack dab right in the middle of my room?!?!?!  A bulletin board!  I only have one in my classroom so I wanted to make very good use of it. 
I considered several things as I was thinking about what to do with my bulletin board.  I thought of math vocabulary posters, a behavior chart, class jobs, and more-the ideas just kept coming! Today though, I finally decided on (and created) Drum roll please.........A spelling and sight word bulletin board.  I know, that is not very out of the box, so why did I choose to use my only bulletin board in this particular way?  Well let me explain.
First grade is a huge year for many students.  With CCSS in use in my district, first graders begin on day one building on the literacy skills they learned in kindergarten.  We will practice our letters, sounds, spelling, phonics, phonemic awareness, and more each and every day.  I will have a whole classroom of visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and hands on learners.  So how do I grow those literacy skills in so many different ways? 
We will start by looking at simple cvc word patterns.  These patterns will be right in front of us every day on our....?   That's right bulletin board!  The spelling words chosen each week will intentionally pull out a certain pattern that students will study not only in spelling but also in writing, small group reading, whole group reading and more.  By studying a certain word pattern in just a few spelling words, students will hopefully generalize that pattern across multiple content areas and outside of the classroom to develop well rounded literacy skills.  The patterns will grow in complexity of course throughout the school year. 
With the spelling words being front a center, students will have ample opportunities to visualize those words each week.  In addition to visualizing the words, we will clap the spelling patterns, cheer the spelling patterns, stamp them, play games with them, rainbow them and more all week long.  There will be an activity for every type of learner throughout the week and an assessment on Friday.     
Here is how my bulletin board turned out.  All it needs now are some spelling and sight words. 

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