Make a large tree on the classroom wall. This tree may be made from flat brown paper, or wide crumpled butcher paper. - A "tree for all seasons" may, as the name suggests, be left up all year and may be decorated to suit the time of year. For the beginning of school in September, cut out large leaves from red, orange and yellow paper, print a name on each leaf and pin to the tree.
"Hats off to Mrs. Baker's class! " This sign was surrounded by a variety of hat shapes, each with a child's name.
Print each child's name on a star. "Welcome to my Bright Stars!"
For those Grade One teachers who have very large classes, here is a mild but effective protest!
"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe....."
Cut out a large boot, and have the children's names on girl and boy shapes around it. You could also have the children draw themselves in the first week and print their own names to put around the words and boot picture.
"I am special!"
Each child draws and colours his/her own face on an inverted paper plate. Add crayoned paper strips or the correct colours of crepe paper for hair.
Printing the names on bright red apples and placing the apples on a tree or in a basket makes a colourful display.
The children make a full figure drawing of themselves and cut it out. Each drawing is mounted with a drinking straw in the child's hand for a pole, and on the top of the pole is a banner with the child's name on it.
Do you have a very large class?
Cut out a large old-fashioned bathtub and mount on the board. Each child creates their own face on a paper plate (or just a drawing), adds yarn or crepe paper hair, etc. All the heads are mounted above the tub as though bathing. A poem to go with it:
There's too many kids in the tub,
There's too many elbows to scrub,
I've lost my knee, oh, where can it be,
There's too many kids in the tub.
"Each year I try to pick an interesting opening theme and pick a way to have all the children's names up on our large bulletin board. .....(1999) was "Spiders". Each child was given the spider shape to decorate and which included their name. It was titled "Busy Workers in Div. 16". Another slogan I use is "Div. 16 Leaping Ahead" and the bulletin board is covered in frogs, or "Div. 16, We Give a Hoot" and the board is covered in owls."
Take a head photo of each child. Make a photocopy. Give each child their photocopied head and he/she can glue it to another paper. Then the child draws his body. Over the head a half circle umbrella shape is placed covering the child's head and stapled at the top. Lift the umbrella to see the child's face. Good for rainy climates! "See me! I am under my umbrella!"
Do a mini ice-cream theme the first few days. Each child can make a large cone shape out of brown construction paper with a different coloured scoop on top. They put their picture on the ice-cream scoop and their name on the cone. The title can read "Our Class Comes In (number of children) Flavours!"
You could have the children create different fantasy fish with crayon on a pre-cut shape, leaving a large circle area in the middle for their picture and name. All must be coloured facing the same direction (preferably noses to the right so the fish are travelling from left to right). They are then fastened to the bulletin board in a triangular fashion, so that you start with one fish on the right hand side, two fish behind him, the third rowwith 3 or 4 fish and so on. The title of the board reads "School's In!"
Create a large yellow school bus, with the children's heads (photos, photocopies or drawings) in the windows. The side of the bus could read"Mrs. Smith's Magic School Bus".
Cut white paper, any size, into T-shirts - one for each student. You or the children print their names in the middle of the shirt front and decorate it any way they wish. They could put some of their favourite things around the name. Hang them on the bulletin board as if they are hanging out to dry. Use string and actual clothes pins. You could do one, too, and yours of course will be much bigger.
Have the children draw themselves and attach a parachute. Title: "Flying into Grade One".
Print each student's name on a picture of a bear or teddy bear. Title: "Welcome to Our Bear-y Wonderful Class".
Create giant puzzle pieces in bright colours. Mount these on a black background and separate each piece slightly so the background shows. Each piece can have a child's picture and the name on it. The title can be: "We Fit Together Perfectly".
One that I always do goes w/my Apple Unit that I do in Sept. I take the kids photos sometime during the first week of school. I staple each photo to an apple that I've cut out on the Ellison die cutter (we have the large, 9x12 size one now). On one edge of the bulletin board I make a large apple with a stem and a leaf ( you can fold the leaf down the middle to make a little dimensional effect) out of butcher paper. Coming out of the apple is a worm w/glasses and a little bow tie. The title of the board is "You're the apple of my eye!" It's cute! I try to change this board 3 or 4 times a year but I always use the kid's photos someway.
Instead of die cutting the apples, I've also had the kids paint dessert size paper plates in red, yellow or green and then glue on stems and leaves. Hope this helps! Cheryl Ristow
This year my door will be geared to the rainforest. I will have a HUGE palm tree with bright monkeys, parrots, tigers, etc. on it. Each child's name will be on an animal. My caption---OUR TROPICAL RAINFOREST! I will also have my rules, consequences, rewards on a wall labeled---PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT!!! OBEY OUR CLASSROOM RULES! Huge playing cards will be in the middle and small playing cards will be used for my border. Another cute board I have used before is to create a parking lot.Divide each section for a small car to be put. Put the child's name on each car. Caption reads---- RESERVED PARKING!!! Really cute and eye catchy!! Keep sharing!!! Jo-Psmith4804@aol.com
Posted around the room..........
I call out HIGH FIVE...silently the students count to 5, thinking of (and doing) each item as they count. Hopefully, when they reach 5, they're ready to listen!! Linda -Lmcnice@aol.com
I teach 9th grade but I'm going to elementary next year. One saying that I have in my class now and will move to my elementary class is : RESPECT. You want it? Then Learn it, Earn it, and Return it. Sknenmee@aol.com
For October, I use a good work BB with a ghost on it that reads BOO-TI-FUL WORK. I also make a web out of black yarn, reading WEB OF WORDS with seasonal words (You might want to scramble them and see if the students can unscramble them). KateRouse@aol.com
Bulletin Board Ideas
October - Fall into Great Work: leaves, scarecrow
Something to Crow About.... : crows, corn stalks, scarecrows
Unbe"leaf"ably Great Work: leaves, etc.
November - A Harvest of Great Work: cornucopia (sp?), leaves, pumpkins
December - A Blizzard of Great Work: snowflakes, snowmen  email@example.com
I take a picture of each child and then I cut it into a circle shape and glue it in the middle of different colored construction paper sheet. Then for homework I have the kids cut out pictures from a magazine of things they like to do, things they like to eat, things like to play with, etc. They bring these pictures to school in an envelope and after we read Things I Like ( I believe it has a monkey on the cover) , they glue their pictures around their own picture on the construction. paper. This makes a nice bull. board. "THINGS WE LIKE"  PSK013@aol.com
I am also going with the "STARS" theme. I am going to have the students make mobile on the first day to hang from the ceiling. They are called "Be a Star". On stars(I am going to use the yellow notepads shaped like star) they write different things that they can do and share them with the class. Example: I can play the piano, I can cook, I draw, etc. On my behavior chart I am going to use the little gold stick on stars.
I have used this idea in the past: With red oak tag paper make a giant red apple then with a scissors cut on top right of apple so it looks like someone took a giant bite out of it. Then make a nice size brown worm and make it stick out from the bite mark. On apple write "TAKE A BITE OUT OF KINDERGARTEN" On the 1st or 2nd day of school have kids color apples (cut after coloring and add tiny worms) and in permanent black marker put their names on the apples . Put giant apple in middle of bulletin board and small apples all around. (Small apples can also be colored yellow or green) (Don't forget to put a tiny eye and smile on the worms)
One idea that I wanted to share is about stickers. I order mailing labels but instead of printing an address on them I have them say You are a Star In Mrs. Fields' Class Georgetown Elementary Keep up the good work!!! I use these for especially good work and the kids love that they are personalized. I am going to start the year with the theme of "School" -- I will decorate the room with pencils, crayons, scissors and other teacher type things and many apples. During this time I will teach the meaning of "Quality" using two apples (one that is beautiful and one that is less than perfect). After that we will define quality work, quality behavior and a quality teacher. On different days -- by brainstorming. This gives me a good idea of what they want from me and helps develop class rules. Usually the behavior and assignments can both be examined by my asking "Is this a quality assignment? or Is this quality behavior?" I will read books like Spider's First Day at School, Mrs. Nelson is Missing, Cream of Creature from the School Cafeteria, Teacher from the Black Lagoon , and Principal from the Black Lagoon. After this I shift into a unit on Apples. I don't have to change my whole room since apples were already part of the scheme. If anyone has any school suggestions. I would love to hear them. I have loved all the ideas and think we have a great group. Hilda
The card says Welcome to your new classroom community. The items in this bag have special meanings.
The cotton ball is to remind you that our room is full of kind words and warm feelings.
The chocolate kiss is to comfort you when you are feeling sad.
The sticker is to remind you that we will all stick together and help each other.
The gem is to remind you to shine and always try your best.
The tissue is to remind you to help dry someone's tears.
The toothpick is to remind you to "pick out" the good qualities in your classmates and in yourself.
The gold thread is to remind you that friendship ties our hearts together.
The eraser is to remind you that everybody makes mistakes and that it is okay.
The Life Saver is to remind you that you can come to any adult in our school community if you need someone to talk to.
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