This bulletin board is great for out in the hallway as a year-long display board for students’ work. But it is so much more! It is a fantastic way to increase your students’ vocabulary as well as encouraging them to live up to their new “smart names.”
START HERE: On the following page is a list of smart words and the definitions. Students of all ages love to learn big words.
spend time going through each word, talking about the definitions and how that characteristic might look. Give them time
to figure out which word best describes them. This discussion of the words provides many opportunities to brainstorm ideas
for: what makes a person smart, what kind of behavior might be associated with those smart people, how people’s attitudes
about themselves can determine how well they do in all of life, famous people who were savants, future writing projects
using the words, and any other ideas that are sparked in the students.
Then: Assign each student with a word. This works best if you allow the students to pick two of their favorite words and hopefully everyone will end up with at least one of those two words. The word they choose becomes their word for the entire year.
Next: Display the words above the students’ pictures on the bulletin board. *You could include the definition of the word on the bulletin board so that students from other classes will begin to learn the words. Underneath the students’ pictures, provide a space for displaying their own work. This could be an assignment that they are proud of, a story they wrote, a picture they drew, etc.
*The “smart words” can also be used for desk name tags, locker name tags, etc. Once they learn their own word, they can begin to learn all the other words on the list. These words can be used to write sentences, paragraphs, and stories. These words can set a tone of excellence in your classroom as each student learns to expect the best from him/herself. They also provide opportunities for life lessons having to do with attitudes, being a person of integrity, being a hard worker, etc.