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.
*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!
*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!