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Professional Talk: The Walls of Your Classroom

Each week I receive, The Big Fresh, an e-newsletter from Choice Literacy.  This week’s feature is entitled “There’s Room for Me Here.” As I began reading through the article, it resonated with the Responsive Classroom Training I received three summers ago.  Essentially, the bottom line is to make your classroom feel welcoming for your students, it’s important to have bulletin boards ready (i.e., fadeless paper or some kind of cloth with borders around it) to go, but not filled with meaningless filler (e.g., things that can be purchased from a teacher supply store).

I remember learning that my first principal was not a fan of pre-fab bulletin boards from teacher stores.  As a newbie teacher, I was horrified by the prospect of not having things up on my wall, especially since the teacher store bulletin board items looked so inviting, so easy.  However, I realized that once the kids got to school, it would be just a matter of a couple of days ’til I would be able to post their work up on the walls.

If you need some inspiration to leave your bulletin boards semi-empty before your class arrives, then here are some pre-student arrival photos from my classroom (from the past). As you’ll see, it’s not completely empty, but I think there’s just enough room to let kids feel as though there’ll be a place for to shine:

Blank Spaces for Student Writing

From Our Classroom Is Ready for the First Day of School
From Our Classroom Is Ready for the First Day of School
From Our Classroom Is Ready for the First Day of School
From 4-310 IS READY FOR LIFTOFF!
From 4-310 IS READY FOR LIFTOFF!
From 4-310 IS READY FOR LIFTOFF!

Finally, if you don’t subscribe to Choice Literacy’s Weekly E-Newsletter yet, then head over to their site and sign-up for The Big Fresh. It’s an excellent resource!

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

5 thoughts on “Professional Talk: The Walls of Your Classroom Leave a comment

  1. Laura: I’m pretty sure those were from Lakeshore Learning. However, those photos were taken in August 2007, so I don’t know if they’ll still have those. GOOD LUCK! Best, Stacey

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  2. Hi Stacy,
    I checked out more photos on your “4-310 Is Ready for Liftoff” Web Album and saw your great colorful book boxes! Where did you buy them???

    Thanks,
    Laura
    4th in SC

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  3. I read that article and thought the same thing! Not putting up the bulletin boards before the kids arrive has also given us some tasks for the first few days when we are settling in to the routine. A good “get to know us” art project is a great way to get to know the kids and get some decorations up quickly. I have to say, as well, that leaving them empty has also relieves some the self-induced pressure to get everything perfect before they arrive. It really is one less thing to worry about in the final weeks of summer. I have been more likely to spend that time on planning and organizing my year.

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