Saturday, April 6, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Bulletin Ideas

Spring break is almost over, and I do feel fairly refreshed and rejuvenated (my hour long massage I just got doesn't hurt that either!), and whenever I get ready to head back to school after a break, I'm always so excited to bust out some new ideas. Anyone else get that way? If it's the middle of Feb. and I'm knee-deep in papers to grade, I'm not feeling very inspired, but when I have time to unwind and enjoy life a little, I'm always brainstorming ways to improve my class and classroom.

One idea I've been mulling over for awhile is a Random Acts of Kindness bulletin board in my room. Disclaimer: I suck at bulletin boards. Or anything creative or artsy, really. Good thing I'm not an elementary teacher. I can't imagine having to make all those cute bulletin boards on the regular!

In my room I have a really large bulletin board that I use for "class news" and keep a school calendar there, my list of study hall rules, all the schedules for different bell schedules/dismissals, the sports calendar for school, and a few motivational posters. But I have a small bulletin board at the front of my room that right now just houses a "Sound Smart, Quote Shakespeare" poster. I love my Shakespeare poster, but want to do something a little more creative.

So I thought about it and would like a way to showcase or honor some kids who may not always get acknowledged otherwise at school. I know a few teachers in my school have a bulletin to spotlight the highest scores on a test or what not. I don't like that idea for me personally because 1) many times that ends up being the same 2 or 3 kids, and 2) even if the score is good, I don't feel it's my place to broadcast a kid's score or give them possibly unwanted attention. In high school, some kids are really funny about that.

So my next thought was a bulletin board with something like "Caught in the Act" at the top and then I would put up a student's name and the random act of kindness (RAOK) I caught them doing during the week. I thought I could also let other students put one up (with my permission) for a peer that they caught doing something kind. It could be lending an absent student the day's notes to get caught up, or stopping in the hall to pick up a calculator someone dropped (you have no idea how often calculators get dropped and everyone just steps around it and keeps going!) I was hoping this would spotlight some students that may not otherwise get recognized for academics.

So, knowing nothing about being creative with bulletin boards, I took to the Interwebs to try and get some ideas. I didn't want it looking juvenile, since I mainly teach seniors, and they may think this idea is oh so childish anyways. This is my frontrunner so far:

I think the play on the song is funny and the kids would be amused by it. The only downside to this one is this quote is rather long and my bulletin board is quite small. I would still need room to showcase kids' names and RAOK. I haven't ruled this one out but need to find a way to make it fit on my bulletin board without being squished.

Another option is to make my small bulletin board my class news bulletin and take down the posters--just have calendar, schedules, and study hall rules posted. Then I could use my big bulletin board for this and maybe put up a few posters.

I also thought I could hang something like this on this bulletin board:

 I thought this was cute and who knows? Maybe a kid having a really rough day would find comfort in something like this. Or maybe they'd all roll their eyes and find it cheesy lol.

So over the next week, I think I'm going to brainstorm and see what I want to do. I just hate hearing so many negative things come out of students' mouths and want some more positivity. I also thought about saying that, at the end of each month, everyone who got a RAOK on my bulletin board got entered in the drawing for a prize. Maybe a king sized candy bar (they go NUTS over candy, seriously).

So what I'd love from all of you is feedback. What do you think of doing this with upper HS students? Anyone tried a bulletin board like this? Love it/hate it? Ideas for designing it in my room?

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