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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reading Takes Us Places Bulletin Board


It took me a long time to get my classroom ready this year.  I must have gone into school ten days to just get things organized.  Luckily, I was allowed to teach social studies in my own room this year.  That meant I could finally create a cross-curricular bulletin board.  I decided to combine reading with geography skills.
As someone who has always loved maps (though I am unable to actually get somewhere following one) I had several on hand.  By searching online, I found the "Reading Takes Us Places" themed bulletin board.  Due to social studies, I decided to expand the idea to include a local, national, and world map and then "pin" books to those locations.  I actually wanted students to match the settings of their books with the locations.  I went online to books that I knew I had at school and had a specific setting. I copied, pasted, printed, and then laminated these book covers. I pinned them near their geographic location.  This made a great start of the year conversation starter. 

I had to order a local map online at Amazon.  Newbery Award winning author Jack Gantos, who is originally from our area, was supposed to get a local display. Sadly, I ran out of time but plan to make one for next year. Mr. Gantos has visited our school twice. He is a great speaker and his mother still lives here.
I found a lot of world books that also are set in areas that we study in social studies (geography).
I printed out small pictures of books and laminated them so students could pin them.

 The national U.S. map was the center.  It's funny but I saw a lot of kids just looking at the map and talking about it.  There is just something fascinating about maps that captures something in all of us.
I wish I had more time to spend on book talking all of the books and having students add their books to the board.  Maybe next year, I will put this display in the hallway so we can leave it up!

I then found the actual books from our classroom library to book talk.  These books got immediately checked out!  We did take the bulletin board down early due to our open house this week. I like to do a biopoem t-shirt display so parents can see their student's work.  When we were taking this down, kids wanted to take the maps home.  I did give out the U.S. map as I have more.  I kept the other two maps for future use.  
Here's just a general picture of the room.  We got a new Promethean Board last year. I love it. The ELMO and mounted projector is also a HUGE help.  We are also grateful to have carpeting. It really keeps down the noise and feels more cozy or something.  

The library is again in the process of being reorganized.  This is a huge job but I again have great helpers who are almost finished.  Kids also reorganized and sorted our art boxes. We made space for the social studies textbooks and lost the cart!