Yes, I say "design" rather than "decorate". We design to create an effective learning environment. We decorate to make it look nice.
I think about the boards that I have put up in my room that have really made a difference or have enhanced my teaching.
My Top 6 Bulletin Boards
6. Elements and Principles of Art
Need I say more? They are our basic vocabulary and I refer to the everyday. They are always displayed where students can easily see them.
5. Name, Table, Code
If this is not on the back of a student's work, I am lost. This is one of the first procedures we practice. Name: student's first name
Table: the color table they sit at
Code: Teacher's initial - grade
(Sorry I don't have a picture of this on my board. This is an example on the back of a student's work)
4. Swish, Wipe, Blot
This poster is the difference between life and death for my brushes and paint. Students learn to swish in the water, wipe the brush on the side of the bucket, and blot on the paper towel
3. Art Marks
Many art teachers don't use this kind of system. That is fine, because this system works great for me. This is a whole group behavior chart. It has more to do with noise level then anything else. A class will end art class on a green (great day), yellow (okay day), or red (not good) day. I have three circles with these colors on my board. If students get too loud during working time I will put up a green warning (If they never get a warning it is a green day). If they get loud again, yellow last warning. Finally, if they continue to be loud or unruly, I will put up a red for no talking. At the end of the year, the class in each grade with the most green days wins a surprise party (Lots of fun art games)
2. Landscape, Still life, Portrait
I refer to this so much that by November students are pointing out which one we are creating before I even ask. This year I want to change it up with new examples throughout the year. Maybe even include some student examples.
Finally the board that I can't teach without....
1. Behavior Board
I don't believe you can teach anything without an individual behavior system. Yes, I do use a whole group behavior chart, but this is the one I covet. It has taken many forms over the years, but has kept the same concept.
When a student breaks a rule, I say, "pull your card" they go to the board and find their teacher's name on a pocket. The student pulls out the cards in the pocket to find their name. They will then clip their card to the consequence.
Consequences: Warning, 5 minute time-out, 10 minute time-out, Teacher's decision (this is the most severe and I will deal with it appropriately.
Here is the most current behavior board followed by previous years'.
To learn more about this board visit The Behavior Board.
To find out more about each of these please visit Classroom Management.
What board can you not teach without?
(if you have a blog, please link to it)