I know many of you have started your school year already. I still have another week before staff are due back at my school. However, I have been doing some preparation. We have a back to school night for students and parents before the official first day of school. I like to have at least a bulletin board up to make the room more welcoming. Every year I review the process of communication and what it takes to communicate with my speech students. We talk about listening, speaking clearly and visual cues such as body language. I think I’ll be able to use this bulletin board as a visual support. I’ve decided to use a set of monkeys representing See no, Hear no and Speak no Evil since they represent those senses. I downloaded a coloring page of the monkeys from microsoft clip art and used it as a template. I will put the colored versions up on the Board with the heading of this post when I get back to my room. I will put a picture up of the completed board when I get it put up. I updated the picture as promised.
Ready Your Senses for Learning
It must be Spring. The students are asking me when I will put up the pear/pair tree. I decided to resurrect this post for those who may have missed it the first time around. I start by making a tree on the bulletin board. The tree takes many forms depending what paper I have available. I twist brown paper to make limbs and have them come together for the trunk. I then have students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out. I roll them and tack them next to the limbs for leaves. This makes a 3 dimensional tree. I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.
I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language. Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree. I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree. Names do not count. I learned that student’s would say almost any word was a name to match another word. I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more students have a chance to find words. I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used. I found that this saves time when searching to see if it is already there. Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously. I give students a token candy for each set they find. A student is required to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear. I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section of this site. It is an excel list because if new words need to be added, I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order. I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it. I usually start this bulletin board in May and keep it up until school is out. It will have a lot more pears by the end of the month.
This was our first week back after spring break. I’m finding myself a little behind with recording things here. I decided I needed something simple for my bulletin board for this month. I kept my rainbow background from March. It is still raining here so it still seemed appropriate. I changed the theme to Idioms. In April people tend to think of baby animals, and I narrowed it down to cat and dog idioms. Here is a good source for animal idioms: Dog Hause- Animal Idioms. I put a few up on paper strips in the clouds and the older students are adding to them. I put the main heading, It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. There are easy origami instructions for making animals on this site: Origami Folding Instructions. These are very simple directions that younger children can do. Several of my students are working on concepts such as half, top, bottom, left and right, and following directions. They can add details like spots, stripes , narrow or wide eyes, and describe their animal. They like having their finished product put up on the board for everyone to see. This is what it looked like after one day.
It's Raining Cats and Dogs
March is almost here so I’m in the process of thinking up a new project for my bulletin board. I’ve decided to use the heading “March Into Action With Verbs”. I’m going to use the Shamrock Manas an art project. I will change a few things. I have stamps that make eyes, a nose, and lips. I’m going to make a sign the students can use to fill in the different forms of a verb. He is__________., Yesterday he_________., and Tomorrow he will _________. The students can pose the Shamrock man for the verb and the sign can be posted on his front. I’ll post a picture when I get it set up. Meanwhile I thought other people may be able to use this as well. Let me know if you find another way to use it.
Here is a picture
I woke up to freezing rain conditions, no school, and time to be creative. I need to switch my bulletin board away from the December/January winter theme to something for February. I like to be able to get some language value out of it as well. The Pear Tree (previous post) has always been very successful for making students think of homonyms. I thought something similar for antonyms would be great. I’ve decided to make the title “Antonyms, a Love and Hate Relationship. I will cut out hearts the student can decorate with a stickers, stamps, or drawings. They can label them with antonym pairs and post them on the board. It could be made more interactive by cutting the hearts apart in puzzle fashion to be matched or making two different colors of hearts that are joined by a piece of yarn or string.
Antonyms are a good way for students to learn vocabulary and the ability to compare and contrast. The mind seems to remember words better when we manipulate the meanings in our mind. Older students learn how to use suffixes and prefixes to make words that are opposites. I have made up a list of antonyms that is in pdf form or excel. There is an advantage of being able to sort the excel list, but I’m not sure it will open for everyone. The number to the right of the word is my way of giving a level. The 0 level is typical preschool kindergarten beginning knowledge. I have K through 5th grade in my building. The basic antonyms are developed in primary grades and there may be fluctuations in the grades they are learned depending on what material is covered in class. I’ve found that by making a list I can write objectives in their Individual Education Program (IEP), show progression and know what the student has covered. Click here for the excel list, click here for the pdf list.
I found glitter to be quite motivating. I put glitter in a coffee can so I could seal it with a lid. I let them put glue around the outer edge of the heart after they wrote the antonyms on them. They slipped the heart into the coffee can and shook it. The heart came out decorated with glitter and looked good no matter what the skill level. It only took a few minutes per child and surprisingly there wasn’t much clean up. This is how the board is looking.
The Antonym Board
With the first signs of spring, the children start asking me when I will put up the pear tree. It seems to have become a yearly tradition. The tree takes many forms. This year I twisted crepe paper to make limbs and tacked them up on the bulletin board. I then had students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out. I rolled them and tacked them next to the limbs for leaves. This made a 3 dimensional tree. I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.
I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language. Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree. I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree. I explain that names do not count. I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more individuals have a chance. I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used. I learned that this saves you from searching the tree continually. Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously. I give students a token candy for each set they find. A child needs to be able to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear. I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section. It is an excel list because if new ones are added I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order. I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it.