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:
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!