As I’ve previously said, I am passionate about early literacy! The way we learn to read and write fascinates me. I love teaching children to read, write, and enjoy the whole process of literacy. Specifically, I like using meaningful activities to teach the kiddos. I like to use children’s writing as part of bulletin board ideas I come up with. I especially enjoy using kids’ art AND their writing to make meaningful displays around the classroom. This helps create a print-rich environment, and it also shows the children that their writing is important.
Today I want to talk about incorporating interactive writing* into bulletin boards. I like using student work to decorate the classroom, and this definitely includes bulletin boards! One of my favorite things to do is couple interactive writing with art. Since the children are writing about their own artwork, the writing is more meaningful to them. If it’s more meaningful to them, they’re more invested in the writing/learning process.
There are so many different ways to incorporate interactive writing and student work. You can make lists, write letters, create recipes, and then include photos, paintings, drawings, etc. As I tell the kiddos, whatever you can say you can write! Then just work the artwork in and create a display that works for you.
I like to create storyboards with the kids sometimes. When we do this, the students and I work together to write the story. Oftentimes, it’s a basic retelling of a familiar book we have recently read. After the writing, we all work together to create the artwork (rather than individual pieces by each student). When creating a storyboard, the story comes first, then the art.
At other times, students’ arts and crafts are the jumping points. The kids create their art (or a craft) on their own or during center time with a teacher. Once each child has done this, we all sit together as a group to write the story. When we do this, I like to place the interactive writing in the middle of a bulletin board, then surround it with individual students’ work. In this case, the art usually comes before the story.
Another favorite is labeling a giant piece of art the children have made together. They work as a team to create the artwork first and the writing flows from it. Many times, this comes together on the fly with the kids asking to make something. From there, I use the children’s conversation and their questions to guide what we write about.
Those are just a few examples of displaying students’ writing and art in the classroom. I just love looking around my room and seeing it covered with items the children have created!
Please note this can be done on a smaller level at home, too! Simply share the writing with your children, then put it up along with your child’s artwork. It could be displayed on the fridge, directly on the wall, or even in a nice frame!
What about you? Do you have any bulletin board ideas you’d like to share? How do you incorporate kids’ writing and art in your classroom or home? I’d love to hear about it!!
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*Interactive writing refers to a teacher “sharing the pen” with her students, usually in a whole-group setting. Together, teacher and students decide on a story to write. The teacher models and asks questions, leading the children through writing the story. If the children know which word, letter, or chunk to write, they do so. If they’re not yet able to, the teacher writes it for them. This is an incredibly simplistic definition. For more information, here are two of my favorite books about the topic:
- Interactive Writing by McCarrier, Fountas, Pinnell
- Interactive Writing and Interactive Editing by Swartz, Klein, & Shook
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