Bulletin Board Ideas
Bulletin boards showcase your students’ work and demonstrate the learning that is taking place within your classroom.
- Keep bulletin boards clean and organized.
- Remember that bulletin boards are often the first thing people look for when entering your classroom: They are the first impression of the classroom, its organization, and the instruction that takes place there.
- Try to display at least one or two samples of work for each student, because this gives all the students ownership of the classroom and builds a sense of pride.
- Keep bulletin boards current—try to update a different bulletin board every couple of weeks.
- Represent a variety of subject areas and themes on your bulletin boards.
- If you have a limited number of boards available, consider dividing the bulletin boards in half to make it possible for you to display student work in all of the subject areas.
- Represent each student’s best work (regardless of score).
- Keep student work as the primary focus of the classroom’s bulletin boards. A busy background can distract the focus from student work.
- Pay attention to detail.
Bulletin Board Elements
Every bulletin board should include several components beyond the background and borders, including most if not all of the following:
- Colorful border
- Student work with written teacher feedback and/or rubric score
- Content standards being addressed
- Scoring rubric
- List of key words
- Teacher example
- Coordinate colors.
- Keep it simple; eliminate distracting elements.
- Choose a background color you can live with; it may be up all year.
- Prepare the background for your bulletin board as follows:
- Mount the background first; then add the borders.
- Measure the background material, adding a little bit extra just to make sure, and use push pins to attach it to the board.
- Start in one corner, and staple the material in that corner. Use a yardstick to pull the material tight, flattening it as you work your way across the board, and stapling the material at regular intervals.
- With a pair of scissors, cut off any extra material at the edges (small gaps will be covered by the border). Remove the push pins.
- Materials appropriate for the background include the following:
- Butcher paper—usually available at the school site in a variety of colors, can fade over time, needs to be changed each year
- Fadeless paper—purchase from a teacher supply store, excellent, lasts for years
- Recycled paper (newspaper, magazines, construction paper scraps, grocery bags, old charts, book jackets, maps, any paper that can be recycled for this purpose)—can be collaged onto a bulletin board, more labor-intensive, can be visually busy
- Cloth or bed sheets with a subject-specific pattern (for example, numbers, planets, dinosaurs, fossils)
- Burlap—usually available at the school site
- Felt—usually available at the school site
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