Bulletin Board Planning

Last summer Susie and I worked on a bulletin board for Library Card Month. For various reasons and circumstances the bulletin board stayed up all year long. It was never my intention to leave it up so long, but one day just kind of ran into the next one.

Snoopy Has a Library Card! Do You?
After taking the board down the last week of school I vowed to not be stuck uninspired for the coming year. One day during a quiet few minutes I looked at Susie, our library assistant (but I hate typing library assistant because she is the beating heart of our library), and said, “Get out your phone. Pinterest. Bulletin Board ideas. Go!”

For 15 minutes we used our phones (Pinterest is blocked by our filters) and wrote down ideas for the entire year. Anything was fair game and our list quickly grew!

I printed a stack of my Bulletin Board Planning Guides and started sketching out each idea. If you’d like a copy, the PDF is here.  The beginning of my summer binge marathon of Buffy was a nice companion to all the sketching and planning I did. Bulletin_Board_Plan

The next night I decided which font would work for each design. The night after that I typed all of the letters into a document I set up to reverse outlined letters so that I could quickly print the letters on cardstock.

A few days later I started printing the letters, put them in a gallon Ziploc with the sketched out plan, and now I have a stack of Ziplocs with a pair of scissors stashed by my couch.

TV time is cutting time. By the time September comes along I should have most of the hard work of the bulletin boards finished! When it comes time to put up the bulletin board, I’ll have all of the parts and I’ll know how they should fit on the wall.

Bulletin board parts stored in Ziploc bag with the sketched out plan for the board.

Dr. Seuss Planning

Seuss Week ideas, bulletin boards, and new Word Cloud printables. | Risking-Failure.comSince I never think ahead far enough, I’m trying to do so for Read Across America Week and World Read Aloud Day.

There is a team planning Read Across America Week so I’m not in it alone. I’m mainly responsible for the schedule for World Read Aloud Day. In the past we’ve had a lot of outside visitors come read to the students throughout the entire week. Frankly, an initiative like that is hard to schedule. Teachers accommodate their schedules to the readers who are sometimes running late or cancel at the last minute. Often, the students have no personal connection to the reader. This year we decided to try and make it a more meaningful experience by asking our staff inside the school to mix it up and read to students they have a connection with, but don’t see often. We are also inviting our peripheral staff to read to students, such as our crossing guards, office staff, and cafeteria manager. Teachers can determine their ideal time for inviting a guest reader to their classroom; readers will voluntarily sign up for the time that works best with their schedule. We’re seeing this as a win-win and I’m excited about placing the emphasis on World Read Aloud Day!

We will celebrate each day by sharing a video of a staff member reading a book related to our daily dress-up theme. We’ve picked four books for Monday-Thursday and will put the videos on our internal shared drive for teachers to show to their classes at their convenience. The week will finish up with grade-level celebrations during the specials rotation. During each celebration we will do some dancing, fitness, readers theater, and the final video of staff reading. We did a video last year catching staff members in the hallway and asking them to read a page or two from one of Dr. Seuss’ books. The students loved it! Especially the ‘outtakes’ that I included.

We usually sing some of the songs from Seussical. My favorite Green Eggs and Ham song is from Literacy in Motion.

I do like to do a bulletin board or something related to the month. Last year was my absolute favorite one!

Seuss Silhouette Bulletin Board. | Risking-Failure.com

This year I passed the silhouettes along with another past display to other librarians. Several years ago I made large posters of Worldles for four Dr. Seuss books. I made the mistake at the office supply store asking to have the posters printed without asking about pricing…(not one of my brightest moments). I now treat those posters like gold! I can’t use them again in my space and it makes sense to share those things. This year I want to do something interactive and decided to go back to the word cloud idea. I made 20 word clouds for different Dr. Seuss books. I think I can fit 12 or 15 on my bulletin board. I’m going to number each and provide answer slips for students to guess during the month of March. We’ll start during Read Across America and end the contest the last week of March when I have our next Book Fair scheduled. Students who are winners and have their names drawn will win Book Fair discounts.

Word Clouds: Seuss Style are available from Teachers Pay Teachers. 20 books with 2 sizes of posters for each book. There are also center signs and slips for guessing which title is displayed. They’re on sale for 50% off for a few days!

Word Clouds: Seuss Style. For sale at TeachersPayTeachers. | Risking-Failure.com

Word Clouds: Seuss Style. For sale at TeachersPayTeachers. | Risking-Failure.com

I’m going to set up a Library Center with one or two word clouds each week. Students can use the word cloud as inspiration for their own Seuss-Style stories, using his vocabulary as a starting point. I’ll also put out Cari’s Fish Estimation Center, which was a hit last year. I think I’ll leave my photo frame center packed up and save it for a future year. There are so many great Seuss ideas out there! What are your favorites for celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday each year?