Saturday, March 12, 2011

Polka Dot Word Wall

If you are looking for a fresh take on your Word Wall, here is a new idea. I really like this one because it incorporates with many other themes. Obviously, the polka dot theme or the "poppin' patterns" theme matches exactly. But because it is so colorful, it will work well in almost any classroom! Here are the products I used...
  • PAC57348 - Magenta 48"X12' Fadeless Paper
  • CTP1932 - Dots on Black Border
  • CTP1196 - 4" Dots on Black Punch Out Letters
  • CTP3869 - Poppin' Patterns Dots Cut Outs
  • T79001 - 3" Black Casual Letters
  • CTP4505 - Dots on Black Nametags
  • CTP5882 - Poppin' Patterns Hearts Cut Outs
On each Dot cutout, I put a 3" black letter as the header for the list of words. On the nametags I wrote in black sharpie the words that would be used in the classroom. The exact hearts shown in this picture have been discontinued by Creative Teaching Press, but the heart cutouts I have listed above are the replacement and are much cuter anyway!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mad Libs Parts Of Speech

When I was a kid, the way I got tricked into learning my parts of speech was to play mad libs! Many teachers today use mad libs in their classroom to help students write silly stories and learn grammar. On this board, the class wrote a mad lib together and the teacher posted it on the wall along with the definitions of each part of speech! Great idea!
  • PAC57128 - Nile Green 48"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • CTP6474 - Dots On Yellow Border
  • T1095 - Notebook Paper Wipe-Off Chart
  • CD110126 - Parts Of Speech BBS
  • T79755 - 4" Alpha Beads Ready Letters
I copied the story from a mad lib book, but if you are super creative, you could write a story about your class and post it instead. Chart paper also works well for the story, particularly if you are planning to change it every year! After showing the class how to do one together, print off some extra stories (different ones this time) and allow the students to pair up and write their own. Post nearby for all to see and giggle at too!

In Our Class You Fit In

Puzzle pieces are all the rage right now and with these colorful cutouts you can't go wrong! This is a great board to encourage diversity, a sense of welcome, and teamwork. Here is what I used...
  • PAC57308 - Black 48"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • T92144 - Jigsaw Trimmer
  • T10906 - Puzzle Pieces Accent Variety Pack
  • T79306 - 4" White Splash Letters
This board is pretty large, it's about 12 feet in length. Because it's so big, I used three packages of puzzle piece cut outs. Obviously, if you have a smaller board that much is not necessary. Perhaps it will help you determine how many packs you need for your board. I chose white for the lettering, because it shows up better considering everything else is so colorful! The symbol for Autism Awareness is also a puzzle piece, this would be a great board for a special needs classroom as well!

Flower Power Rhymes

A very pretty board for Spring, and interactive too! Great for a door, or it could be translated well onto a horizontal bulletin board. It would leave a lot more room for those big beautiful flowers at the bottom! Here's what you need...
  • PAC57300 - Black 24"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • CTP1041 - Poppin' Patterns Spring Flowers Border
  • CTP1194 - 4" Poppin' Patterns Letters
  • CTP5886 - Jumbo Spring Flowers Cut Outs
  • PAC53841 - Premium Dark Green Posterboard
  • CTP5883 - Spring Flowers Cut Outs
The black paper as a background gives this board a bit more of a funky feel because the colors on the flowers really shine on it. On the smaller flowers at the top I cut them in half down the middle. Then I used foam mounting squares to attach words from a rhyming pair on each half. This gave it a more 3D look. The words I typed on the computer using a font I downloaded online for free and just cut them out. Finally, I made the stems and leaves for the larger flowers by cutting strips of poster board apart for the stem and cutting an almond shape out of it for the leaves. It doesn't have to be perfect, most leaves are not truly identical anyway. Attach them at the bottom and you can add extra flowers at the top to fill in. Don't worry about not having enough stems to match the number of flowers, they would be hiding in the shadows anyway! Happy Spring!

Arrrg You Ready For School?

Ever since Pirates of the Caribbean came out it seems that Pirates are all the rage. Here is a great way to incorporate them into your classroom and welcome students at the same time!
  • PAC57210 - Light Blue 24"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • CD1240 - Ocean Waves Big Border
  • CD110133 - Pirates BBS
  • T79401 - 2" Black Casual Ready Letters
I happened to have a circular bulletin board to use here and it gives the look a port hole or spy glass feel, but if you don't have a circular board it still works great on a small rectangular board. There aren't a whole lot of pieces to this set, so it accommodates a smaller space much better. When used on a larger board sometimes the pieces can get lost and it looks too plain.

Have A Heart (Go Green)

It seems, as of late, that everyone is "going green" and school is no exception. We should all be doing our part to help the environment and schools are really getting in on the campaign! If you are stumped about how to promote this worthy cause in your room, here is the answer you've been looking for!
  • PAC57200 - Royal Blue 24"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • EP3219 - Go Green Border
  • T79741 - 4" Black Playful Combo Ready Letters
  • TF8401 - Big Earth Puzzle BBS
  • CTP4703 - Go Green at School Mini BBS
The big Earth puzzle comes apart and can be put back together by students. It's a lot of fun, but beware it can be challenging to solve once separated. I chose to laminate mine and just leave out a couple pieces so it's easy to tell that it's a puzzle. There are a lot of options for using this Earth puzzle. For instance, it would be great to give each student a piece and have them write on it ways that they can help save the planet!

Read Across America

This is probably my favorite Dr. Seuss board of all! I think I like this one best because it can be put on a door and features all the children in your class, so everyone is in on the fun! Here's what you need...
  • PAC57038 - Red 48"x12' Fadeless Paper
  • EU847639 - Giant Cat In The Hat BBS
  • EU841300 - The Cat's Hat Cut Outs
  • PAC53871E - Light Blue Premium Posterboard
  • EU847215 - Dr. Seuss Upper and Lowercase Punch Out Letters
For the background:
I used the back side of some old straight border to create the white stripes. Any kind will do as long as it's the same width. The cheapest thing to do is save those random single pieces that always end up in the garbage and recycle them instead! I tacked up a piece of trimmer in between each line that I removed at the end, just to make sure that my lines stayed straight and the spacing was even.

For the kids:
I cutout the pictures of the children and then cut a slit in the bottom of the hat using an exacto knife. Then I slipped them onto the child's head and taped the back side. After that I mounted them all on black construction paper and cut them out leaving a small edge, this allows them to show up better on such a busy background. I then wrote the children's names on the hats in sharpie.

Finally, I put the letters on the posterboard so they would show up as well. Read Across America is a great program and I hope to continue to create more displays to promote it in the future!

Un-frog-ettable Test Taking Tips

As we near the end of the school year, it comes time to start preparing students to take standardized tests. Many times this process can seem tiresome and boring. So why not add a little color and maybe a dash of fun to this time of year with an easy bulletin board! Here's how you achieve this look...
  • PAC57170 - Bright Blue 24"X12' Fadeless Paper
  • T92341 - Pink/Green Wave Trimmer
  • T8716 - Frog-tastic! Mini BBS
  • HYG87848 - Brite Tagboard 9x12 Sheets 48ct.
  • T79003 - 3" Yellow Casual Ready Letters
For this board I typed out the test taking tips my friend uses in her classroom and printed them. I used a font that I downloaded for free online. Then I cut the 9X12 Tagboard in half and used them behind the white paper to make them pop. This is a board you could put on a door too and if you don't like changing your boards all the time, these are great tips for taking tests year round!

Obey The Rules With Dr. Seuss

The manufacturer for all the fun Dr. Seuss products, Eureeka, has come out with a really cute set for the rules of the classroom. Here are the products I used to create this board...
  • PAC57178 - Bright Blue 48"X12' Fadeless Paper
  • EU845018 - Cat In The Hat Trimmer
  • EU847131 - Dr. Seuss Rules BBS
  • EU487125 - Dr. Seuss Upper and Lowercase Punch Out Letters
  • EU842660 - Dr. Seuss Welcome Go-Arounds BBS
The "Go-Arounds" BBS are the characters you see on the outside of the board around the frame. It comes with a welcome sign and looks great around a classroom door as well! The title says, "Don't Be A Silly Goose, Obey The Rules With Dr. Seuss!"

Take A Look, We've Read Some Books

This is my latest Dr. Seuss Bulletin Board undertaking. I was challenged to create a Dr. Seuss board that tracked the number of books a classroom or school read. Obviously, you can change the numbers based on how many students are participating. I did this one based on the number of books a class would have read. The idea here is that for every 5 books a class reads, they would move the hat to track their progress. You could even put a picture of the prize the class wins at the end of the road to help them keep their goals in mind. I will warn you, this board is a bit more challenging to create than one might think. You might be sure and put this one somewhere that you can leave up all year, maybe even in the hallway outside your door! Here are the items I used and how I achieved this look...
  • PAC57338 - Violet 48"X12' Fadeless Paper
  • EU847041 - Favorite Books Mini BBS
  • EU847215 - Dr. Seuss Upper & Lowercase Punch Out Letters
  • PAC53821E - Orange Premium Posterboard
  • PAC53861E - Dark Blue Premium Posterboard
  • PAC53841E - Dark Green Premium Posterboard
  • PAC53801E - Red Premium Posterboard
  • CTP6579 - 4" Black Designer Punch Out Numbers
  • EU841300 - The Cat's Hat Cut Outs
In order to create the road, I cut the poster board into 4 sections and laid them out the length of the board overlapping them just a bit. Then I drew out my road on top of it and cut it out. I outlined the seams in black marker. Once I started tacking it up, it was easier to see if I needed to trim a piece down. I used the black numbers on each piece and accented with the book covers and characters in the Mini BBS. The hat cut out is what I used as the progress marker.

**If you have questions about this, as I am sure you will, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to explain any of this that seems unclear.**

On The Loose With Dr. Seuss

So I know I am a bit late, but Dr. Seuss' Birthday is being celebrated this month and I thought it would be cool to show you the Read Across America Boards I have done! This was the first one I ever did. Enjoy!

  • PAC57038 - Red Fadeless 48"X12' Paper
  • EU845017 - Cat In The Hat Trimmer
  • EU847637 - Cat In The Hat Large Characters BBS
  • EU847639 - Giant Cat In The Hat BBS
  • T459 - 4" Blue Casual Ready Letters
The background is what really makes this board special and creating it is a cinch! I used the back side of some old straight border to create the white stripes. Any kind will do as long as it's the same width. The cheapest thing to do is save those random single pieces that always end up in the garbage and recycle them instead! I tacked up a piece of trimmer in between each line that I removed at the end, just to make sure that my lines stayed straight and the spacing was even. It looks like I have a good eye, but really I cheated! The thought bubble I created using a white piece of poster board. I just cut it out into a wavy looking bubble and attached the letters to it. Without the bubble the letters would have gotten lost on the busy background. Finally, the giant Cat in the Hat character is about 4 feet tall, so I simply cut him off and covered the cut with the blue trimmer.