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July 7, 2021

Whiteboard Signs - Easy Summer Project

After the 4th of July, I always start getting excited about the next school year.  Not that I'm ready to go back, but I start tackling some classroom prep.  Helping my future self, and all of that... I start going through my files of back to school items, and seeing what I need to print out for this coming year.  

One easy project is printing out a new set of whiteboard signs.  Easy right? Some years I get lucky and my old set is still good to go, but some years I don't know what happened and they are a messy mess.  Like this past May.  I knew I would need to redo them for this year.  

I wanted to update the font, and they just felt grimy, so I printed out a new set to use. Print, laminate, and ready to go...

The headings I stick on the board have different purposes. Here's what I have and why.

Focus board: I make a grid on the board with washi tape. 
Subjects go on the left side vertically, and Headings are on the top horizontally. It looks like this (here's my digital version from last year's distance learning):

Subjects: Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, and Science
Headings: Essential Questions, I Can... I Know I Can Because...

Must Do: This area is where I keep the running list of weekly in class work to accomplish.

May Do: I use this area to jot early finisher options.

Color Teams and a list of colors: I use this area to keep track of group points using tally marks. It's a great job for a kid that needs to get up often. I cut the colors apart, and they go on the board vertically under the Color Team heading. I give color points for participation, cleaning up their area, doing certain tasks, etc.  It's a competition... End of the week we tally the points and the winning group gets a prize.  

Voice Levels: I start off the year going over the different expectations, and jot down the number so there is a visual reminder.  The goal is that eventually I don't have to update the board anymore.

Book Talks: This area is where the kids jot down their name when they are ready for an afternoon conference. They jot their name down sometime before lunch, and then I go through as many as possible directly after lunch during silent reading. The goal is that everyone signs up by themselves by Thursday, or else I start calling them over to check in.  

Reminders: Yeah, reminders. :) 

Homework: In a normal year I give out homework on Monday - due Wednesday, and Wednesday - due Friday.  Last year I gave it all out on Monday - due Friday.  I don't like doing nightly homework, I used to do that and it was just too much paper coming in each day.  Comparing it all, I like breaking it up a bit so I don't have as many stragglers and have as much to correct on Friday.  But that part of the board is where I keep our list.

Help: Every kid in class has a job to complete to help the classroom run smoothly.  That's in a different area that we change out every 2 weeks.  This area is for those things beyond our normal helpers.  I jot things on post it notes, and if time the kids can come up and grab a note to complete. Things like paper book orders unclipped, or art projects taken off the wall... stuff that kids can easily do that isn't part of the normal routine, when I just need an extra set of hands. 

There is a lot that I stick up on my board.  Other than the focus grid, which takes up a large portion, it's mainly on the outer edges of the board so there is room for me to write during our lessons too.  I do mainly use the doc camera... 

Anyhow, here is my file in case it can help you. The font is KG Summer Sunshine if you want to make your own headings.  :)  

Hope it helps,

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