Bulletin boards are powerful tools in K-8 classrooms. They pair personality with functionality and, when featuring student work, provide incentive for students to do their best work. Read on for tips and tricks to make the most of your time, space and resources.
We all get creative block from time to time. When that happens, consider the following resources to get your creative juices flowing:
- Pinterest can be an excellent place to browse for ideas on borders, themes, interactive activities and materials.
- The Teachers Corner has great ideas to get your wheels turning, including free patterns you can download, print and then have your students decorate in art class, or as part of a lesson plan.
- Classroom Direct has bulletin board activities, ideas and examples to help you get started. And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget about the resources down the hall – your fellow teachers!
Save Time and Space
- At the beginning of the year, consider planning several board designs at a time. Create the latest on your list first, followed by the next to last, and so on – and build them on top of each other. Once Thanksgiving is over, remove that layer to uncover your winter or Christmas theme.
- Once one theme is removed, store your materials in a folder. Yes, you read that right – a folder! Check out the convenient File N Save storage solutions by Trend.
- Not sure what to do with all of the letters you punched or cut out? One option is to save them in envelopes by letter/number. Another is to store them in an alphabetical expanding file; one file will store the entire alphabet, saving you the hassle of digging through piles of loose letters.
- Use newspapers, wrapping paper, fabric or art paper rolls for backgrounds. Newspaper is an inexpensive yet creative background for an “in the news” board. Save used wrapping paper from the next birthday or holiday get-together. Fabric is durable, washable, and doesn’t show staple or push pin holes nearly as much as paper does. One art paper roll can go a long way – and some come with preprinted patterns and designs, meaning less decorating work for you! Or don’t use a background at all!
- Borders can be made from all kinds of sources: wallpaper border; garland; Christmas tree lights; leaves; ribbon; tissue paper; playing cards; puzzle pieces and more. Better yet – draw or trace patterns that your students can decorate in art class!
- While staples and pins are durable, they are not the best choice if you like to reuse borders and backgrounds. Consider using removable glue dots or even removable tape on boards you plan on using year after year – or even week after week.
With a little time and imagination, you can easily create inspirational and engaging bulletin boards for your classroom. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Have you learned other valuable bulletin board tips and tricks? If so, please share them with us!