Interactive Bulletin Board: Tell Me All About It
If you teach young children you know they always have something to tell you and to share with the class. Kids would walk in the door and run right up to me telling me millions of things all at the same time. I love hearing their news and funny stories, but it was taking a lot of time away from getting started with our instructional day. A few years ago I started to think about how I could use their excitement about sharing their news to enhance their reading and writing skills. The result was the “Tell Me All About It” bulletin board. Read more to see how this interactive bulletin board is used in my classroom and why it is a class favorite!
Students love sharing about themselves and their special news on our bulletin board. The most exciting part for kids is that they get to write directly on speech bubbles stapled to the wall. I laminated the speech bubbles so that they are easy to write on and erase with dry erase markers. In the beginning of the year, I put the child’s picture and their name attached to the speech bubble. Later in the year students make their faces with construction paper and craft materials. Changing the student faces is a great way to refresh the board and keep the excitement going all year.
This interactive bulletin board changes and grows with the students throughout the year. In the beginning of the year the majority of my students’ writing and letter sound knowledge is limited. I really want my students to be able to stretch out their words like a rubber band and write the letters they hear. Giving students a sentence starter or focused question assists students in sharing early in the year.
Here are some my beginning sentence starters:
- “My name is ___.” Students then write their name in the speech bubble. We move on to other ones like “My favorite pet is a ____.” “I like to___.” “My favorite color is ___.” I am ___ years old.” As the year progresses I will have them write the whole sentence or complete my sentence starters with more words. “This weekend I ____.” As students writing progresses we open the board up to sharing their own news without a sentence starter or question.
My students love to read the board as we are lining up or if we have a few minutes throughout the day. This board engages students in the reading and writing process and gives them an audience for their special news. It also gives me more time in the morning to get started with our instructional day. Student still come in excited to share their news and stories, the only difference is, now they share through their writing on the bulletin board.
If you decide to try a bulletin board like this, you can start by having students write on the board once a week and increase to everyday, depending on your time. Typically, we start with two times per week giving a few students a chance to write each day. I have my students write on it first thing in the morning while it's quiet reading time and students are still arriving.
This interactive bulletin board is a favorite for all my students in my classroom. Parents love it too because they can stop in and read the special news. In fact, a former parent compared our "Tell Me All About It" board to Facebook's "What's on your mind?" page!
I would love to hear about how you manage student news sharing and about your interactive bulletin boards. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I hope to hear from you soon!