Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Twelve Hour Day

At Chets Creek we do Standard Based Bulletin Boards which means that we present bulletin boards that follow a certain criteria. Each board includes a title, a task that describes what the lesson or string of lessons was about, the standard and four pieces of student work with commentary. The board is a window into instruction. The boards are not "fluff and stuff" so they take time and thought. Not only do you have to make sure that you have work ready for when the seven bulletin boards come due, but you have to design the aesthetics and write about the work which means you have to reflect on your practice. I had been working with my partner on our board for about a week - reading all of the writing folders in the class, helping students select their best work, having writing conferences with all the students (because even though only four papers will be on the board, all 22 will have their work displayed around the board for Open House), thinking about how to display the work, and writing the task and commentaries, but on the due day, everything had to come together. We started very early in the morning, but it took hours to get it right. As I was walking out of the building around 7 pm, the custodian passed me and said, "Yea, you can always tell when it's bulletin board day." Her reference, of course, was that teachers are always in the building late on that day. As I thought about how much my feet hurt after being on them all day, I couldn't help but wonder, is it worth it?

I have been a teacher for well over 30 years and yes, I think it is worth it. If we don't think about what we are doing and how the children are responding - if don't continually think about how to do it better - if we don't take the time to reflect and then act, then how can we continue to improve in our practice? How can we make a difference? Standard-based bulletin boards are just one of the ways that forces us to stop every now and then and reflect on our practice. It also forces us to look at student work. Below is my bulletin board and one of the amazing pieces of work that was completed during our four weeks of pattern books.

Moo-st Wonderful Writing

Who has big fat shoes?Daddy does! He has flip flop shoes.Who has pretty high heels?Mommy does. Her high heels make her look high.Who has click clack shoes?Sister does! Her shoes click and clack.Who has playing shoes?Me! Yes yes! Me!!!!! My shoes are just right!!!!


Maria Mallon & Cheryl Dillard said...

Love the board! It is so worth the time and effort into making the "window into the classroom" an educational tool for all to learn from. Teachers, parents, and students enjoy reading and learning from the SBBB. MM

Suzanne said...

I love the piece of work you highlight here for the SBBB. My favorite page is about mommy's high heels! I love that you captured your board virtually making it accessible to teachers that don't have the ability to roam our halls.