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.
Are your students working towards mastery of their multiplication facts? their AR goal? or maybe some other goal? When your students in class are working towards a goal, use a string of large C9 Christmas lights to represent each child. Label student names on each bulb with a Sharpie marker. Unscrew the bulb so that it won’t light up until the child has reached the goal. When a child reaches his/her goal, then screw in the bulb so that it lights up. Eventually the whole string will be lit when all of the children reach their goals!