Let's Interact!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Prior to spring break, I set up an interactive bulletin board for my 3-5 students. I have a small classroom, so my goal was to maximize our space and use the bulletin board as a teaching tool. So far, it's been great! My students race to class to check out and solve the new challenges!

As of now, it contains three activities, which change every week or two. The activities are meaningful and low maintenance, which I love, and highly engaging, which my students love. Read on to learn more (and grab a couple of freebies!)

Going from left to right, the first activity on the board is Decimal Detectives. Every week or so, I post a new set of clues; students use the clues to determine the mystery decimal.

Once students solve the riddle, they record their answer on one of the recording sheets pictured below.

They submit their answer to me as a "ticket" and we draw weekly (or bi-weekly depending on what kind of week it is :-) for a winner. The prize is usually something silly like a pencil or "partner pass," but my students love to be recognized - and recognize others - for their effort. Below is a sample Decimal detective clue sheet to get you started. You can download it for free here. It comes in color and black and white. (You will also find the recording sheets and answer key there, as well!)

If you and your students enjoy this, it comes from my Decimal Detectives Enrichment packet, which includes no-prep printables, task cards, and cooperative learning activities.

The next activity on the board is the game 24. If you have not played 24, I highly encourage it! It comes in a small, square box with a ton of cards. There are four numbers on each card. Students use each number once and only once along with the four basic operations to make 24. Trust me - it is addicting.

I used chart paper and die cut numbers to create a super-sized version for our interactive board. I get the numbers from the cards provided in the game. (Again, super low maintenance. You might be noticing a trend :-) Students record the answer on a sticky note or scrap paper and submit it for one of our weekly drawings. This activity is. a. favorite. I've had students who ask to eat lunch in the room with me so they can solve the puzzle or take it out to recess because they are determined to find the solution.

The final activity on the interactive board is Boggle.

Just like the traditional game, students create words using connecting letters. I let them work on their own or collaborate with friends to generate as long a list as they can. The amazing letters and recording sheet were made by Rebecca Rojas at Create, Teach Share. You can download them for free on her blog. Thank you, Rebecca!

There are so many different ways to create interactive bulletin boards. I have my eye on The Unbored Book, by Tin Man Press for my next round of inspiration.

Do you use interactive bulletin boards in your class? If so, how? I'd love to hear from you!

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