I was assigned the duty of doing one of our cafeteria bulletin boards this month, so with lots of thought I decided on the title “Right Answers Keep Falling on My Head”. This title came as a marriage of an April rain showers theme and a testing theme–the spring state testing is a huge deal at my school. I used a math font that creates testing bubbles so that I could put test bubbles inside the rain drops. I double spaced these and just cut the drops out free-handed. I used bulletin board paper to create the umbrella which I sketched out free-handed. Next I wanted to put the back of a little girls head on the bottom so the rain drops could actually be falling on a child’s head. We have a predominately African American student population, so I tried to mimic the cute, twisty ponytails that the girls wear. I took black yarn and wrapped it around a piece of circular cut cardboard for the girls head. To create the ponytails, I wrapped yarn around the top of a copy paper box. Then I tied it off so it would go around the circular cardboard. Next, I cut the ends of the huge yarn loop that I had wrapped around the box lid so that they would be loose to twist like braids. Finally, I braided/twisted the yarn to look like little twisty braids and finished them off with yellow bows. I hope this will spark an idea for you to use!
Here is a snapshot of what we worked on putting up last week for open house in our main hallway. I still feel like it needs a little pizzazz or sparkle, but we got lots of complements on the board all day! You may not be able to tell from the picture, but we hot glued crayons and pencils into the open pencil box. There is also a magician’s wand in the backpack with the folders that doesn’t show up very well. Hence the theme of the board…”Welcome to a Magical Year.” That has proven to be a curiosity that stops adult traffic in the hall. I hope you can use this idea and improve on it. Post a picture and link to my sight if you do. I would love to see it.
I just wanted to share one of my favorite products with you all. I purchased these solids pictured below for our school two years ago and all of the teachers love using these to teach students the plane shapes that make up a solid. They are great for helping students identify nets of solids also. Today I taught a class in which the teacher was absent, and I used these solids that unfold into nets. After looking at these, students took paper nets and listed the shapes they saw in the nets and then labeled the solids with sticky notes. Next they composed their 3 dimensional solids into other shapes such as robots and rocket ships. See the following pictures below to take a peek at some of the students’ creations.
Look at this fabulous stocking (in progress) door decoration! Just in case you can’t tell from the picture, this stocking is completely made from bulletin board paper outlined in heavy black marker. The fuzzy top is composed of white bulletin board paper cut equidistantly every inch or so to hang over the next row. The paper could most likely be curled to add a more dimensional feel. See in the picture below.
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.