Sunday, February 28, 2016

Establishing a Classroom Community with the Help of your Whiteboard

Hi, friends! I've had quite a few people ask me about my whiteboard messages that I use in my classroom, so I thought, "Why not make a blog post about it?" Here we go!

WHY do I do these messages in my classroom?
*I pride myself on creating a classroom that genuinely feels like a family. A place where students love to be and love the people that they're with. A place where students set goals and encourage other students on their journey of meeting their own goals. I want my students to feel like they are in a safe, judgement-free zone where they are respected by not just me, but by their peers as well. Each time I complete one of these boards, I feel like my class is getting that much closer to being a true family.

Students need daily reminders about the importance of friendship and community. They need you to give them opportunities to see how just simple actions can truly make someone's day. and they need you to make them feel loved and appreciated. If you can get your students all supporting and fighting for each other, they're going to carry that with them for the rest of their lives. These simple messages are so meaningful to my students, and I hope they have the same impact on your students, too.

How do I come up with my board ideas?
My messages are focused around two main components: goal-setting and kindness. The main questions that I ask myself when thinking of a new message are:
What do I want my students to be thinking about?
What are my students needing to hear?

After sharing my whiteboards on Instagram, a new hashtag was started: #miss5thswhiteboard. I get a lot of inspiration for new ideas by browsing through the feed. It's an amazing feeling being able to see so many different teachers and classrooms utilizing these messages in their classrooms. I encourage you to check out the hashtag on Instagram for whiteboard ideas- you'll find plenty! :) I also have a list of prompts available for download here.


How often do I write a message on my board?
*On average, I complete 2-3 boards a week. I write the messages so that students see them first thing that morning. Sometimes I repeat the boards we've already done, but the wonderful thing is that each day is different. You could do the same board over and over and you would get different responses each time!


When do my students respond to the message?
*My students know that if there's a message on the board when they walk in that morning, they can answer it any time between 7:40-8:20 (our morning work time). I usually only like 2-3 students at the board at one time, so my students know they need to wait their turn. I also have students who come in at 7:40 and then others that come in at 8:05, so the staggered arrivals kind of eliminate the "crowd."



What markers do I use?
*Expo, folks. Plain, old Expo markers. :)




Happy boards, happy students, happy teachers!






31 comments:

  1. Brittney.. you inspire me EVERY single day to be a better teacher. This is my first year teaching 6th grade and I love incorporating your ideas into my classroom, especially this one. My kids look forward to their question every morning and love writing on the board. :) Thank you for sharing all your wonderful, creative ideas!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! You truly made my night! :) :) :) I'm so happy that your kiddos have responded so well to it! That makes my teacher heart HAPPY!

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  2. Brittney,
    I have got to tell you that I have been following your posts on Istagram and am just completely BLOWN away by your dedication, passion, and creativity that you bring into your classroom. Each student is so lucky and blessed to have such a positive influence as a teacher. You truly are building a family and changing lives! Keep inspiring. Thank you for doing what you do. :)

    Have a wonderful week!

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  3. I've started doing these boards 2-3 times a week and it has been such a hit! Thanks for the ideas!

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  4. I absolutely love what you do in your classroom. From just the way you decorate to what you write on the board to ask your students! I have downloaded many free things from you TPT store and cannot wait until I have my own classroom to use them (I am currently a junior in ECE). Is there a way to subscribe to this blog?

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  5. can you give more idea..........i luv ur idea

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  6. What an inspiration! As a 5th & 6th grade teacher, I love looking at your instagram and blog for ideas. Still trying to figure out how to do this for next year. I teach ELA and only have my students for about 50 minutes. This year we are on a rotating block schedule, so we only meet 4x a week. Next year, we'll go back to 5x a week, thankfully! What do you think about one board a week? On Mondays or Fridays? Also...have you seen this on chalkboards? I wonder if it makes a difference?

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    1. You can order chalkboard markers from Expo. They are neon and awesome! My 6th graders love them. (Wet erase)

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  8. I love these and plan to give them a try! How do you ensure that all students get chosen to receive a random compliment when you have names up there? I worry that some of the students (usually the same ones) might be left out if I let it be truly random.
    Jennifer

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  9. I love your white board ideas. They are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great summer.
    Beti

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  10. I love your white board ideas. They are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great summer.
    Beti

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  11. Hey, It really is incredibly fantastic and informative website. Good to discover your site Very well article! I’m simply in love with it.
    ____________________________________
    White board

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  12. I love this idea! It is a great way to form a positive classroom community. I am going to incorporate this into my classroom next year! But, I do have a few questions. Once all students respond to the message, what happens next? Do you read aloud all responses or do the students review on their own? How long do you keep the message on the board during the day? I love following your Instagram posts and blog! Thank you for sharing your ideas! :)

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    1. This was actually going to be one part of my question! :)

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    2. I was wondering the same thing :) I'm definitely incorporating this in my classroom next year, but would love to hear what you do with it after students respond.

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  13. This idea seems fabulous. I'm teaching 5th next year and I am excited to try it. One question I have is... How do you set it up in the beginning of the year? What expectations do you create and procedures? What board questions do you start with?
    Thanks!

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  14. I LOVE this idea!! I'd really like to do this in my own class! Quick question - What do you do after the kids write their answers up on the board? Do you read some/all of the answers outloud? Do the kids just read each other's answers silently?
    Thanks!!

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  15. This sounds like an awesome idea I hope to utilize this fall in my fifth grade classroom. Thanks for sharing! -ts

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  16. Love, love this idea!!! Thanks so much for sharing and being an inspiration to others!!

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  17. Love, love this idea!!! Thanks so much for sharing and being an inspiration to others!!

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  18. Happy mid summer 2016. I have a question for you. I teach 7th grade ELA and I would like to in cooperate this concept in my classes.

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  19. I would love to use this idea in my classroom also! If you keep it up for several days do you change the day of the week? Thanks!

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  20. I love this idea and I would like to use it in September! What is the procedure after the students reply to the morning message? Do you read them?

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  21. How do you have this work after they write their responses? Do you have them share their own or do you read the responses?

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  22. Your post is really good providing good information.. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. Keep sharing such important posts.

    magnetic dry erase board with grid lines

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  23. I've been trying to find you on instagram. I thought I would check your page for a button or link but I must be missing it.

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  24. I love these board ideas! Your work to make your classroom a family is amazing!

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  25. I am so inspired by your boards! Great community building ideas. Question: How long do you leave them up (do you use your board for teaching during the day)? I'd like to do this, but would love to leave it up all day as an anchor for our time together.

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