This is a picture of the High Frequency Words bulletin board in the elementary school where I volunteer for my friend who has taught kindergarten for over 20 years. We based the design on the children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.
The principal wanted a bulletin board that shows the individual students’ progress in reading 34 what are called “high frequency words”. The board is designed to encourage students as they learn to recognize this set of words. We discussed the theme and decided on the caterpillar. I like colorful things so my friend let me create it.
The caterpillar has 35 segments numbered 0 – 34 to track the number of words each student has learned. I took a photo of each child, added their names using MS Paint, and printed them out at 2 1/2″ high by 1 1/2″ wide. Then I laminated and cut them apart. To make the board interesting to the kids I cut out photos from magazines and laminated them. I cut out “clouds” from white craft paper in different animal shapes. During their free time the kids showed me where to staple these to the board.
Every month I ask each student to read the words and I mark them off on a sheet to keep track of their progress. As they learn more words we move their photo along the numbered segments. Each student points to the segment that corresponds to the number of words they have read aloud to me and I staple their photo there. The photos of those who can read all 34 words, and know all the letters and sounds, are stapled up in the sky. For this they receive a lanyard with a pin that says they are a “Green Raptor” (the school’s mascot). The green raptors are very proud of their accomplishments but the students who do not achieve this are also proud of themselves as they help me to move their pictures along the caterpillar’s body.
I discovered this rug in the school library. It shows how the caterpillar looks in the book. I had to increase the length to accommodate all the segments.
This last photo shows the first bulletin board for high frequency words in 2010. This photo is at the end of the school year. As you can see, many students are Green Raptors. This board was based on the idea of a walk through a park. The white “sidewalk” is divided into 35 squares. I included photos of all kinds of things you would find in a park. The students’ favorite pictures were of dogs. The blue area is a little stream that starts as a lake at the top left.