Saturday, September 22, 2007

Standard-Based Bulletin Boards

Standard-based bulletin boards began as a compliance piece for us, but now in Kindergarten they truly offer a window into the instruction in the classroom. Teachers enjoy showing off the work their youngsters can do and they enjoy using their creativity to showcase the depth of the work. Teachers decided together that they would put up 6 bulletin boards during the school year that showcase student work and standards. They decided that they would each put up at least one board of their six that featured math, one board that featured writing, one board that featured reading or skills and one board that featured work over time. Each board includes: a title, a task (what did you ask the students to do), the standard, 4 pieces of student work and commentary on each piece of student work. Above is a bulletin board that just went up showcasing the work that the students are doing with rhyming.

  • The board contains a title, EVERY TIME, THE TIMMONTES KNOW THE RHYME.

  • The board contains the task and the standard.

  • The board also contains 4 pieces of student work with commentary and the student's picture. One example is below.

In this piece to the left the child completed the task by drawing rhyming pictures. On the left side he drew a picture of men. Knowing that the word was plural, he drew two men! On the right side he drew ten and represented word in numerals, 10, and also in pictures by drawing ten triangles. When it came time to write the rhyming words for each picture, he wrote "MN" for men and "TN" for ten, hearing the beginning and ending sound clearly. He s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out each word just as he has been taught.

  • This board even includes an oral artifact which is a small tape recorder hanging in a pull string bag attached to the board. The teacher captured each child as he described the rhymes he had drawn. The teacher continues to probe in each case to make sure that the child understands rhyming words.

Each Kindergarten board is different.
Maria Mallon's board follows the same criteria of title, task, standard, 4 pieces of work and commentary but is totally different. Maria showcased her students' work of envisioning a story that has a beginning, middle and end, each represented by a single sheet of paper. She teaches her children to think of the story like a movie over several sheets of paper and then draw the pictures from their minds. They retell their story over the three pieces of paper. Some of her children are beginning to write letters to represent the words of their stories but right now, the stories are mostly in their oral language and in the details of their pictures. This is a technique that Maria brought back after spending time studying with Lucy Calkins.

Debbie Harbour's board features the new Vocabulary unit that kindergarten teachers are teaching (see widget to the left). She features four pieces of work where students have drawn a vocabulary word. Debbie has added photographs of each child acting out the word and then explained the child's understanding of the word in her commentary. In the case at the left, the child has drawn something that is frightening and then shows what frightening looks like.

Chevaughn Sasso's board features a Social Studies Standard (on the right). Julia Lewis' board features pattern work in math. Cheryl Dillard and the Mackarados features word done in Literacy Centers. Regardless of the type of board, as a grade level, we will do a "boardwalk" in the next few weeks where we will walk through the halls and take a look at each grade level board. We will invite each teacher to present her board to the other teachers describing what she was trying to accomplish. This is a learning opportunity for us all! While Standard-Based Bulletin Boards started out as a compliance piece, they have grown to be a integral part of our standard-based school. It's another forum where we bring student work to the table to discuss.

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