I feel like the walls in my classroom are prime real estate. My little firsties spend six hours every single day surrounded by these walls! That is HUGE. I try to make sure that everything in our room is engaging, meaningful, and educationally relevant for my students.
For the past few years I have felt conflicted about posting standards in my room. I was teaching kindergarten when it was first mandated by my district to post standards and teaching points. However, my students couldn’t READ them! I could not bring myself to post things that were not going to be meaningful for my students. Since then I have played with several different ways of posting standards. I’ve found ways to make it “better” but not “right”… until now! I am SO happy with my Focus Wall!
I decided that this year I was going to create something that would satisfy the “posting requirements” but would also be meaningful to my little students. When I started brainstorming my requirements were:
- Make it cute and colorful – The kids have to be interested in looking at it.
- Make it EASY- I have about a million things to think about and do each day. I do not want to have to spend more than a few minutes each morning getting the board organized.
- Make it versatile- I know myself and I know that the way I THINK I want to use this is probably not the way I will ACTUALLY use it. Therefore, it needed to be something that I could quickly and easily change.
- Make it MEANINGFUL- This was the very, most important. I do not want to put one more thing on my walls for the “grown ups” that walk in. I want everything in this room to be meaningful to the 6 year olds.
So, as I began creating this set, I kept my criteria close at hand.
- Cute and colorful was easy… no problems there. I used bright, cheerful colors, a fun pennant header, and added some cute “happy kids” for fun.
- Easy took a little thought. I decided to make a ton of subject headers. I made one for everything I could think of from Math and Reading to Character Education and Close Reads. I also made editable cards to it would be easy to add any headings I forgot. Then, I printed, cut, and laminated the cards and stuck magnets on the back of them. I only post the headings that I need each day and I keep the “extras” in a basket near the wall for the times that I many need them. I plan to write on the cards with dry erase markers. I think this will be much easier for me than typing, printing, and posting standards. I can write the “I can” statement right in front of the students when I introduce my teaching point.
- To make this set versatile I made different sized and shaped blank cards to write on. I plan to use these for many different things so having different sizes available will make it easy to use in different ways.
- Everything about this set was created to make it meaningful for my students. I color coded the subjects and the blank cards, I have the subjects in an order that follows our flow of the day, and I have enough room and blank cards to put EVERYTHING they need for that day’s lesson in one place.
I was really surprised to see how nicely this teacher fit everything on a small bulletin board. I hadn’t pictured it this way but I love it!
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