Thursday, January 10, 2013

Utilizing a classroom chalkboard

Have an old outdated chalkboard in your classroom that you just don't know how to utilize?

This post is all about how I figured out what to do with the chalkboard  that was just taking up space in my classroom!
This is my classroom chalkboard now (don't mind the fact that it is a little messy at the time of the photo! It was right before my girls were going to change it)

I decided that I wanted to use my chalkboard for:

  1. Random Facts of the Day
  2. Journal Questions for the whole week 
  3. Daily Agenda
  4. Reminders
  5. Exit Slip Questions
  6. "Said is Dead" and other dead words
  7. SOLs (or Common Core Standards)
Over the summer I went into school and make a chalk outline of all the boxes I wanted. When I was FINALLY satisfied with my outline I pulled out my handy dandy duck tape and went over my chalk lines. Last year I used plain duck tape, but this year I wanted a little bit more pizzaz so I went with (Paint Splatter):

It goes on the board GREAT (and stays put all year) and the best part is it comes off at the end of the year just as easily!
I created name cards for each section on index cards and taped those up with clear tape and a duck tape border
Here are close up shots of my sections:
I usually do an exit slip whenever we finish a new topic, but I also keep them on the board at all times so kids can flip through them

My random facts don't really pertain to english but the kids LOVE them (I can't tell you how many time I hear the question, "Is that really true?"

I keep my "said is dead" word cards on the board using rings and magnets. When we are writing essays students can go to the board and flip through them. 
My state uses SOLs (Standards of Learning) but this would be call Common Core Standards for most of you.
I printed out my SOLs on index cards according to topic (Vocab, Non fiction, Fiction, Writing, Technology, Editing) and put them on rings. I keep my weekly overview template on my board and change the SOLs based on the daily agenda.

I keep an agenda so the students know what we are doing for the day. Generally they are written in "The Student Will..." statements, but I had a new board changer this day so we are still working on it! :)

We had a light reminders week just their weekly homework story and when it was due, but normally this is much fuller!

I also keep a full week's worth of journal questions at the top of my chalk board. If a student is absent they know they need to update their Journal Question and Bell Ringer Book!
I made another amazing discovery last summer and that was: 

Chalkboard markers! I love them so much more than chalk! They come write off with wipes or a little water and a tissue.

I keep them on my chalkboard in a magnetic pen holder:

One other thing I should mention is that at my school we have bus waves. Which means that I am in the classroom for about 30 minutes with some students while they are waiting for their bus wave to reach the school. 

At the start of school I told the kids that I wanted to hire one or two of them per grading period to update the chalkboard everyday. 

I had them apply for the job (telling me why they wanted it and why they would be good at it) on index cards and then I "hired" two students. 

If they complete their job then I give them a treat of some sort every Friday. 

It has worked out great so far!

People (especially administrators) comment on my board every time they are in my classroom!

No comments:

Post a Comment