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Santa Maria-Bonita School District
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 Check out the Teacher Idea Sharing pages for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.  Shauna Juarez (SMBSD) has created beautiful, two-page banners that feature the theme title, the theme concept, and supporting pictures.  These rather large files will take a bit of patience when you download them, but if you print them, glue the two pages together, and laminate them you will have a great addition to your classroom focus wall.

First Grade Teacher Idea Sharing Page

Second Grade Teacher Idea Sharing page

Third Grade Teacher Idea Sharing page

Fourth Grade Teacher Idea Sharing page

Fifth Grade Teacher Idea Sharing page

Sixth Grade Teacher Idea Sharing page

Cynthia Rodgers, first grade teacher at Adams Elementary School in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, has created posters that feature the First Grade theme title and theme concept as well as a photograph that exemplifies the theme.  Check these out on the First Grade Teacher Idea Sharing Page.

Diana Soto, 4th grade teacher at Bruce Elementary, created a student version of a Focus Wall.  Students use the classroom Focus Wall to complete their personal Focus Wall Page.  What a great way to make this a truly personal and interactive classroom tool.

Student Focus Wall Page

Colorful first grade theme banners for your Focus Wall.  Check out the First Grade Teacher Idea Sharing Page.

Features of a Theme Focus Wall:

The Theme Focus Wall reflects the current teaching/learning going on in your classroom.  The key components of the Focus Wall are listed below.  Be creative!  Invite your students to add to the Theme Focus Wall by contributing pictures, realia, art work, or articles that support the theme.  Check out the Teacher Idea Sharing tab at your grade level for letters that ask your students' familes to contribute to your Focus Wall.
And remember, a Focus Wall is just wallpaper if you do not use it!   Keep the print large enough to be visible by students across the room.  Model using the Focus Wall during your direct instruction lessons as a classroom resource for students. 
  • Theme title
  • Theme concept:  Found on the "Theme at a Glance" page in your Teacher's Edition or in the Scope and Sequence pamphlet
  • Title, Author, and Illustrator:  Some teachers have added copies of the title page of the anthology story as well as pictures of the author and/or illustrator.  Check out www.eduplace.com for information about story authors and illustrators.
  • Selection genre:  Check out the genre definition posters on the Posters, Charts, etc. tab.
  • Comprehension StrategyCheck out the Comprehension Strategy posters on the Comprehension tab.
  • Comprehension Skill:  Comprehension Skill posters are also available on the Comprehension tab.
  • Key Vocabulary:  Key story vocabulary from the current story selection.  Remember, there may be additional vocabulary words in the selection that your students are unfamiliar with, so add these to your Focus Wall if needed.  Searching www.google.com (Images tab) or any other clip art resource for pictures to support the vocabulary provides a great scaffold for your students.  Student generated definitions, synonyms, and antonyms can also be added to provide additional support. 
  • Spelling Words
  • "Launching the Theme Projects:  These projects run throughout the theme and can be included on your Focus Wall. 
  • Realia and Information related to the theme

The link below will bring up large print Focus Wall headings.  NOTE:  These need to be printed on legal size (11"x14") paper.  If your printer will accommodate construction paper cut to 11"x14" you can even make these colorful!

Focus Wall Key Features

EVERY FOCUS WALL WILL BE DIFFERENT SINCE IT REFLECTS YOUR CLASSROOM'S PERSONALITY!  Check out the photos of Focus Walls we have seen over the last few years.

Kindergarten, Theme 6:  Sunshine and Rainbows

Eliana Gray's focus wall features the theme instructional poster, high frequency words, and the current Alphafriend focus.  The schoolbus pocket chart below the focus wall provides a great space for sentence building activities.

Kindergarten, Theme 3: We're a Family

The table under Cyndee Preece's focus wall contains realia brought in by students and the teacher to support the theme or letter focus of the week.


First Grade, Theme 5:  Home Sweet Home

Niki Wallingford's focus wall includes the phonics skill focus for the week, in addition to the high frequency words and story vocabulary.  Her comprehension strategy and skill posters feature kid-friendly graphics to build a deeper understanding of the concept. 

First Grade, Theme 6:  Animal Adventures

Karen Huskey used colorful pocket charts to display letter and picture cards for phonics lessons and for the weekly spelling words.

Second Grade, Theme 1:  Silly Stories

Jeanne Atkins focus wall has a poster that lists the six comprehension strategies taught in Houghton Mifflin.  Notice the bumblebee cut-out in front of the Monitor/Clarify strategy -- that's the focus strategy for the week. 

Second Grade, Theme 2:  Nature Walk

The red arrow on Tami Ahern's focus wall clearly shows that the comprehension skill for this story selection is Fact and Opinion.  The reading strategy focus for this selection is Evaluate.  Notice how Tami has used print large enough for all her students to be able to read the focus wall items. 

Second Grade, Theme 1:  Silly Stories

The large blue rectangle on Lynn Foster's focus wall is a piece of felt.  Each of the words have small velcro buttons on their backs, allowing Lynn and her students to manipulate the words. 

Second Grade, Theme 1:  Silly Stories

Even though Summer Long's focus wall reflects the same theme as Lynn Foster's focus wall above, each board is very different.  Your focus wall should reflect your classroom's personality.  Summer uses pocket charts to display her high frequency words and spelling words.

Second Grade, Theme 3:  Around Town

Mary Sandoval's colorful focus wall also includes a chart with the key vocabulary from the story selection, Big Bushy Mustache.  Student writing samples below the focus wall complement the theme.



Third Grade, Theme 3:  Incredible Stories

Margaret Nelson's fabric-backed and decorated focus wall includes posters that feature comprehension strategies, comprehension skills, spelling words, vocabulary, as well as a list of grammar skills for third grade.  The focus for the week is highlighted with a red apple cut-out.



Santa Maria-Bonita School District    Souza Center    708 South Miller Street    Santa Maria, CA 93454    805.928.1783
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