"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." Helen Keller

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Fran Richardson
Welcome to my blog!I'm a teacher in a beautiful, small, rural town. I moved here a few years ago, but I have taught over 20 years in this same small town that is now my home. My experience is in teaching second, third, and fourth grades with one year in sixth grade. I am always reading, learning, and reflecting on what goes on in my classroom. I love the work that I do with the parents, my fellow teachers, and most all-my students.I hope you will enjoy reading my blog.
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The Scholar, Age 5

The Scholar, Age 5

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I'm A Lifelong Learner...
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Back To School: Bulletin Boards

My summer is almost over ( sigh). Tuesday is my first official day back at work, but already  I have been  very busy preparing and setting up my classroom  even doing what I can from home with a few quick trips to my classroom. Last week I put my desks into a very simple arrangement while keeping the basic setup the same from last year so there was no need to move the cubbies, computer tables, or my little corner with my computer, my professional books, and files. Because I lucked up and bought two rolling carts that were used in a video store that went out of business last May, I didn’t not have to move and sort my classroom library that has over a thousand books. ( That alone has sometimes taken WEEKS  for me to deal with!) My carts have my books sorted into my social studies units so they are ready to go.  When I got into my classroom, I started working on what will go onto my boards based on how I can use them in instruction.   Because we use anchor charts in our classrooms throughout my school which are based on a balanced literacy model for reading instruction in my district, we do not plaster out walls with store-bought displays as I used to do in years past. My room will be decorative but not finished until the students arrive in about two weeks, and learning begins.

In the meantime, I've created some items for my two bulletin boards in my classroom, my dry erase board, and my door.Here’s  how the door to my classroom welcomes my students:


When my class comes in each day, they will do a warm-up based on what we did the day before as pencils are sharpened and the restroom is used by those who need to. The warm-up is part of keeping a social studies  interactive notebook. I’ve decided to use the middle part of my dry erase board as the place where we post our interactive note book work each day:


I have  also decided this year to have a focus wall into addition to posting my standards as we are required to do. I have posted essential questions, word walls, and rubrics before, but I like the idea that I could use the bulletin board where my  trade books  which are an integral part of my history  lessons  to serve as both a meeting area and visual  reminder  and focal point for what we are doing that day in class. It is also in the corner away from the door so the students will be facing me so they truly will be focused as the lesson begins. Looking at my standards, I also see how the focus wall will insure that I include elements of social studies literacy such as timelines, maps, and diagrams:

VID02877 VID02882

Finally, I will have  what I am calling a summary wall for the end of the lesson wrap-up. I chose the bulletin board near the door for two reasons: Here will be evidence of our learning, and because it is near the door, it will be easy to add post-its as exit slips as students line up and leave for the day. I have already posted a place where the rubric will be because this is also a requirement when student work is displayed.

Because I am the type of person that I think, reflect, and redo, I am already seeing some things I can improve. I am already realizing  that are some other things that are needed and better ways to use these displays. I will share those  improved displays when they are ready to go.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy these last few days of our summer.Smile

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"I bear the flame that enlightens the world. I fire the imagination. I give might to dreams and wings to the aspirations of men."
- Marva Collins, from her poem, "I Am Excellence."

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