Interactive Bulletin Board: Tell Me All About It

By Megan Power on October 16, 2009
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

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.

 

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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.  


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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.

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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!

Comments

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.
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Very neat article. Awesome.
bash.im

Its really amazing..

Megan, I am a first year teacher and have just been hired for a new K classroom starting in January. I love this bulletin board as it will help me learn their names and about them as well as do some quick informal assessments as well!Do you have any tips for starting a new class mid year? Thanks for your help! Karen

Karen, Thank you for your comment. Congratulations on your new position! Please keep in contact and let me know how I can help you. Last year I came back from maternity leave in January. So, it was like starting mid year with a new class although I did start in August with them. Still they had the substitute for several months and I had to retrain them.

The first and most important thing is establishing your relationships at the same time as your routines and expectations. They need to know there is a new teacher and there will be changes and possibly different expectations. You also have to get a feel for their ability levels.

Classroom management is usually the hardest area for new teachers so think out your routines and look into different ways to manage the class. You will find with kindergarteners they have to practice behaviors over and over. (I still have to do it with my class months into school to remind them) Scholastic has a great New Teacher Helpline that can give you tips. http://community.scholastic.com/scholastic/board?board.id=emergency

Of course building the relationships is extremely important so you can build your classroom community. You can have them talk in circle time about what they liked in kindergarten so far. You can even ask what they didn't like. Making a class book in the beginning where each child writes a page with a drawing or sentences depending on comfort level to tell about themselves is a fun way to learn about them as well as assess writing abilities.

Again most importantly establish your routines and expections with behaviors. How are you going to get their attention? What do they do after so they finish so they are not always asking? Taking the time to teach them these things will make your life much easier and the rest of your year smoother. Hopefully, your class is a sweet class that will adjust quickly. Please let me know any other more specific questions that you need help with throughout the year regardless of it being management or academic. You are going to have such a great time with these little ones! Smiles, Megan

Dear. Megan Hello, All of your tips are very useful and brillant. Thank you so much. I'm also working as a teacher tutor in Korea, i was impressed by 'interactive bulletinboard', may I use those pictures for my online lecture? If you let me know your full name, I'll let the viewers know it's from your ideas. This time's theme is about 'all about me', i just would like to introduce your idea as well. My viewers must be happy to get this great idea. Thanks. :)

-From South Korea, Erica ♡-

Erica, 감사합니다 (Thank you!) I would be honored if you shared this with your teachers! Please also share the Scholastic website with them. There are so many great lessons, tools, and blogs on this website that helps teachers of all grades. I would love to hear from you again soon and maybe some of your teachers. Please let me know if you think of anything else you would like to hear about to help your teachers. My full name is Megan Power. Smiles, Megan

I love this idea!

It's a great way to interact and communicate with my students!

I guess I can use this from the new semester!

Thank you for this wonderful idea!

-From South Korea love, Joy-

Joy, 당신을 감사하십시오 (Thank you) I am so glad this idea might work in your classroom all the way in South Korea! Technology is amazing how it can bring people together to share ideas. I hope you continue to contribute to our blog. I would love to hear more about your classroom in South Korea! Smiles,

Awesome! What a great way to allow students to share their news without taking up valuable class time.

Thanks! It really helps! Smiles, Megan

What a great idea! I cannot wait to implement this in my future classrooms!

I am glad this gave you an idea for your furture classroom. That is wonderful that you are online reading and getting ideas for when you become a teacher. Let me know if you have any questions or are looking for any other specific ideas. Smiles, Megan

I love this idea! Where did you get the dry erase speech bubbles?

Thanks! Many companies make speech bubbles like the ones I use such as Creative Teaching Press and Carson Dellosa. Smiles, Megan

What a creative idea both for writing and for the students to be able to express themselves! Thank you for sharing this bulletin board idea. It may turn up in my classroom soon, too.

I am glad you found this helpful. We love this board and it makes the kids excited to share their stories. Smiles, Megan

What fun! I love the fact that you can see that they are writing more than three letter words! So encouraging!

Thanks for your comment. It is exciting to see my students writing growth displayed on the wall. I am glad you found it encouraging. Keep up all your great work! Smiles, Megan

i am very exiting this is a wonderfull idea i loved .thank you

I am glad you found this helpful. It has been such a fun way to promote writing. Thanks for your comment! Smiles, Megan

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