The idea of belonging to a club makes kids feel like they belong. With that said, one of our kindergarten teachers came up with the idea of belonging to the “100 Club”. What does it take to belong to the 100 Club? Well, you guessed it…you must be able to count to 100! I took this idea a step further and suggested that we hang all of the kids pictures on the wall that were in the 100 club. We will add to this as the remaining students are able to count to 100. The kids have taken an extra interest in counting to 100 especially if their pictures aren’t on the wall! This display of the students’ pictures has grabbed students’ attention of course as well as parents and staff members. We even have a kindergartener that told her teacher, “I counted to 100 in my pillow 3 times last night before I went to bed.”
For the past two years we have honored students who scored proficient or advanced on the state benchmark exam by displaying their picture in a creative way on the wall as soon as you enter the school. Our principal told us this year that our theme would be “Let’s Keep the Torch Burning!” That sparked the Olympic theme idea to make our Wall of Fame. We decided to make gold medals for each student and place their picture on each medal. The gold circles were cut out on a Cricut from gold scrap book paper. Then we hung the medals on red ribbon in the hallway with the students’ names below their picture. We originally wanted to hang the medals on red white and blue ribbon, but the store we ordered from wasn’t able to order an additional ribbon.
Then we placed a torch scene on the adjacent bulletin board to finish out the Olympic theme. The large gold fire “bowl” is a plastic flower pot spray painted gold that we had cut in half…thanks to one of our teacher’s husbands. The fire inside of the bowl is held up with a semi circular piece of corrugated cardboard with holes punched in it to hold the white Christmas lights and twisted cellophane. The torches on the sides are made with gold poster board rolled up and stapled. Then red, orange, and yellow cellophane are stuffed in the top to mimick fire.
To give the board more pizazz, we included Christmas lights stapled behind the red and yellow cellophane both in the fire “bowl” and on the bottom of the bulletin board. We set the lights on a glimmer setting so that the flames actually look like they are flickering. Covering the lights first with red cellophane helps hide the dark green cords. Then layering with yellow and orange adds a nice fire effect. Thanks to one of my followers who told me about an Olympic theme that she was incorporating with tiki torches for math fact races. She said that she used a battery operated candle inside the torches to make them look like they were burning. This gave me the idea for using Christmas lights.
All of the kids, parents, and staff who walk by exclaim things like….oooooh! cute! pretty!
We know that we have definitely put a spotlight on the kids who worked so hard last year.
You can easily find a string of Christmas lights at this time of year. One year my mentor gave me the idea to put a string of lights around a bulletin board with this clever title: See Your Name in Lights. Post any type of student work and ta-da…a stellar bulletin board. The great thing about this title is that you can leave the bulletin board up after Christmas since it doesn’t actually refer to the season or to a holiday. It always makes me sad to put so much work into a bulletin board for Christmas, and then the holiday is over since we are only in school about two weeks out of December. At this particular school we didn’t have any actual bulletin boards, so this isn’t as artsy as one I have made in the past. We had to staple/push pin things into the drywall (shhh don’t tell), and the drywall doesn’t hold much. For example, you could staple little sunglasses into the wall to resemble Hollywood stars and use metallic silver border to make the lights reflect like a real sign.
In my post yesterday, I placed a picture of my neighbor’s door at school. So many teachers admired the door that they wanted their door decorated too! With some persuasion he decorated some other teachers’ doors as well (pictured below). These photos may give you some ideas if you are feeling festive this Christmas season!
My colleague next door felt that I had given him a little competition with my Grapes of Math door earlier this year , so he has festively decorated his door for each season this year. This colleague exudes artistic talent and can construct just about anything with some colored bulletin board paper and cardboard. This is his “gift” to everyone in the hall. I just love it–and all out of bulletin board paper too!
I came across these posters in a fourth teacher’s room at my school. She decided to display parts of speech on a shape poster to help students think about what types of words they use when they write. She made a poster for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. She had displayed a house for nouns, a blob shape for adjectives, and the kite below for verbs. For some reason my other pictures didn’t turn out, but the kite picture managed to turn out, which is my favorite. Also, pictured below is another chart which she made entitled “RIP” for ‘dead words’ or words that are overused.
Here is my door for this year. I just finished it! It took a lot of work, but it turned out so cute. I took the idea from Greg Tang’s book The Grapes of Math. I recycled the grapes from another project in the past to use on my door. The grapes were made from purple and green construction paper circles that I glued together. I then punched a hole through the top with a hole puncher and put some green pipe cleaners through the top. To make the vine tendrils curly, I wrapped the pipe cleaners around a pencil. I recreated the grape vine with twisted brown bulletin board paper. The grapes were made from purple and green construction paper circles that I glued together. To stimulate math thinking, I added a copy of Greg Tang’s poem so that students will be encouraged to count the number of grapes that are displayed.