Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Monday, December 31, 2007

An "New Year" starts....Bulletin Board stuff

Well, there are only hours left in this calendar year known as "2007". "2007" is soon to be replaced by the new version, "2008". Does it matter, to a teacher? We are on a different calendar.....one that usually begins in August, and ends in May or June.

However, for "2008", when I get back to my classroom I need to do a few things. Like change my "current unit bulletin boards". Up on my "CUBB" is stuff about Africa. The week prior to the start of Christmas break, we ended Africa and began on China. Part of the reason I have not changed out the "CUBB" is in doing the introduction to Geography of China "mind map of China" with my students, I did not want to have a map of China on display up on the "CUBB" where they could sneak a peak at it. And, over the next couple of days, I was rather busy. I don't seem to have much "down time" in my classroom. Things like teaching lessons, grading papers, dealing with administrative crap, lesson planning, lesson tweaking, taking students to school assemblies, etc., I just didn't get around to it.

Chanman posted an interesting blog post about what is on his bulletin boards (he is on my blogroll....and very worthy of your visits to his blog). His post included lots of pictures of stuff on display in his classroom. This got me to wondering. At the beginning of the school year, some teachers put up stuff on their bulletin boards for all the units they teach that school year, and there it stays until the end of the school year. Some have changing displays and static displays ( changes for the unit they are on, some things remain up year-round). And a few have very little up on bulletin boards and I have seen classrooms that were like museums with display cabinets full of scientific thingies or cultural/historical artifacts, model airplanes hanging from the ceilings and about every available wall space taken up by something.

What does your principal expect ? As a failing school, we were told that we must have several things up on display someplace in our classrooms; examples of student work, the current state standards for our current unit and the official notice about the William's thing ( California public school district, I think in San Francisco, was sued for failure to provide adequate textbooks, clean, stocked restrooms, etc., for their "mostly minority" students. The William's Notice tells what things are mandated for public schools regarding textbooks and restrooms as per the results of the lawsuit.) I have had principals who don't seem to care what is posted in classrooms at their school and a few who wander into classrooms and usually comment formally on evaluations or informally in a classroom visit note, about the bulletin boards. Most of those whom were principal at my schools believed nice, up-to-date bulletin boards were part of the evaluation under "learning environment." I have plenty of stuff for my bulletin boards, some of it commercially produced, some of it "homemade". We are lucky, very lucky at my school, that our library tech. lets us use her laminator for bulletin board stuff and other random stuff that we teachers like laminated.

I have a bunch of un-used US History bulletin board stuff that is taking up storage space in my garage. I am debating on just giving it away or trying to sell it. Anyone interested in it ? Ask if you want more details.

On my usual "CUBB", you will find at least one poster size map of the region we are studying. There will be other visual things also, that if students take the time to look at them, they can learn something about the region we are studying. My other bulletin board spaces are taken up with a few examples of student work, school/class rules and procedures, standards, a US flag, a calendar, school calendar, lunch menu, a listing of possible extra credit projects, posters about the Reciprocal Teaching process, and at times, pictures of famous personalities ( currently on display is T.R., Sweetness and Greg Maddox. Oh, and I think I have a picture of "the wave" by a Japanese artist whose name I can never remember. I try to post random works of art. ( some stuff by MC Esher was a big hit with several students )
So, take a look at Chanman's bulletin board blog post. What do you have up on your bulletin boards ?