October Bulletin Board Idea

Something I saw on Pinterest this summer inspired this bulletin board (I’m sorry–I don’t remember where I saw it!)  To launch our mini-unit about mysteries, we made silhouettes of enlarged pictures of some book characters we thought many of our K-3 students would recognize.

We have contest entry forms numbered 1-8, and all forms that have all eight answers correct will be entered into a random drawing for a prize at the end of the month.

We’ll also be having students put their arm into our mystery box (blindfolded) to see if they can guess what objects are inside (dice, emery board, etc.).  It’s amazing how the birthday party games of your youth can come in handy!


There’s Nothing like a Puffin!

This book arrived from Junior Library Guild recently and I think it will make a great read followed by practice with some flexible thinking.  The premise is that nothing else is quite like a puffin.  On each page, though, something else is introduced (a newspaper, a pair of blue jeans, a shovel) and lo and behold, some similarities emerge!  (A newspaper is black and white, jeans have two legs, a shovel is used for digging and a puffin digs with its feet, etc.  You get the idea.)

For a follow-up, why not assemble a set of seemingly unrelated objects and challenge your students to choose two and tell how they’re alike?  Have volunteers orally fill in the same sentence:  “The _____ and the ____ are similar/alike because ________.”    or  

To stimulate this kind of thinking, create a bulletin board with real objects (if possible) or clip art.  Display the cover of the book and a brief explanation.  Cut- out letters for a title like: “How are these objects alike?  Put your brain to work!”  As students pass your bulletin board in the hallway it just might give them something else to think about on their way to their destination!

Be sure, too, to have other books about puffins and penguins handy as companions.

Genres and gingerbread!

This week, to encourage branching out and reading a variety of things, we began this bulletin board.  We started with a plain brown gingerbread house.  Clip art and online images were used for the goodies.  We made a master sheet for each type of candy and copied them onto cardstock.  Based on students’s reading choices they get to attach a certain type of candy or cookie to the house  (one per customer each visit).  We had fourteen categories by breaking down the non-fiction area into several sections.  (e.g. 600-799=gingerbread boy cookie)  We made a legend to help us give out the correct pieces at the desk, and we posted one on the bulletin board so others can see what types of reading material are most popular.  It’s colorful and fun, and a nod to the Christmas season.

Fresh out of ideas? Check this out!

'288/365: Winners' photo (c) 2009, PlayfulLibrarian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I am very grateful to have found a site recently called  Centered School Libraries.  It’s an amazing resource–lesson plan ideas, bulletin boards, printable bookmarks, suggestions for centers and stations, management techniques, you name it!  It’s all so beautifully done and professional looking.  (I’m jealous!) Cari Young is the librarian behind the site and her new book is apparently available from Upstart.

Just yesterday I was panicking about what to do for a new bulletin board. This site came to the rescue with some excellent  ideas.  Check it out here.

Kindergarteners LOVE Pete the Cat!

Last spring a friend and colleague introduced me to Pete the Cat: I love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin.  Because we’ve been highlighting some of our feline book friends lately I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce my kindergarteners to Pete.  We had a blast!  I read the book first and we did a second reading with the music from the publisher’s website.  The kids were so engaged and full of giggles and smiles!

After book exchange that day they could choose a shoe from one of several shoe patterns and color it.  (I asked them to imagine themselves as Pete, walking around their neighborhood.  What would they step in?  What color would their shoes turn?)

Towards the end of our time together we gathered back, put all the shoes in the middle and then sorted them two ways.  They chose to sort them by color, and by kind.  (Their ideas.)  We shared the sorts on the hallway bulletin board.  They’ve been singing the song ever since;  guess I’m going to have to buy the sequel now!

First grade alert:  here’s a great post from a first grade teacher about creating a class book using Pete.

Who is your favorite feline?

Ever notice how many great books there are that include cats?  Here’s a quick and simple bulletin board idea with a nod to Halloween:

Gather books that feature felines as a main character–Tabby, Socks, Mr. Pusskins, Kat Kong, Cat the Cat, etc. and make some color copies of the covers.

Trace and cut some black cats out of black construction paper.  Add googly eyes and orange pipe cleaner whiskers.

Staple some orange yarn around the board.  It appears to come from a ball of yarn that is photocopied from a pattern and colored orange to match the real yarn.

Simple, and fun!