Walk into most classrooms and you'll see one or more bulletin boards. Some will be creatively designed with eye-popping colors, dynamic illustrations, and three-dimensional letters. Others will simply be a hodge-podge of old, faded, and worn-out bulletins.
The difference is clear. Classrooms that are visually appealing and intellectually stimulating are those in which teachers have devoted considerable attention to their classroom bulletin boards. Your students will spend a significant portion of their waking hours in your classroom. It's important, therefore, that your classroom be one that excites, stimulates, and motivates students in a host of learning opportunities.
Bulletin boards in elementary classrooms come in all shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Many teachers typically use these bulletin boards and bulletin board items:
|alphabet charts||handwriting chart||Pledge of Allegiance|
|attendance chart||letter charts||rules|
|birthdays||number chart||school calendar|
|classroom calendar||outstanding work||weather chart|
|classroom helpers||phonics chart||word wall|
|current events||photo gallery||writing guidelines|
Middle school and high school bulletin boards are often reflective of specific subjects or topics and, thus, can vary widely. Here are some standard examples:
|bell or period schedule||newspaper clippings|
|calendar||periodic table (science class)|
|classroom rules||Pledge of Allegiance|
|current events||school news|
|famous people/sayings||student writing(s)|
|homework policy||team schedules|
You can obtain newsprint by visiting your local newspaper office on a regular basis. They often have excess rolls of newsprint after a print run of the newspaper. You can obtain this newsprint for free, just for asking.
Need more tips and possibilities for the bulletin boards in your classroom?
Plan to change your bulletin boards, at the very least, once a month. Bulletin board displays lose their effectiveness if left standing for the entire school year!
Whenever possible, create interactive bulletin boards. Provide flaps to lift, pockets to fill, Velcro pull-offs, puzzles to complete, or dials to spin. These bulletin boards directly involve students in a host of learning opportunities.
Use a variety of bright colors, large letters, and lots of illustrations. Don't overload the visuals, however. Be sure there's sufficient “white space” on the bulletin board, too.
Provide lots of opportunities for students to design and assemble bulletin boards. Encourage them to post their work and celebrate their accomplishments.
Create extra bulletin boards by covering a wall of the classroom with butcher paper or newsprint. Students can write announcements, vocabulary words, or sayings on the paper. You can easily remove and replace the paper throughout the year.
Create hanging bulletin boards by stringing a wire or heavy twine from corner to corner of your classroom. Put clothespins on the wire and hang student work, inspirational posters, decorations, or other items.
Create a simple bulletin board that you can change each week. Post a series of different puzzles, mini-mysteries, word searches, or brainteasers each week for students to tackle during their free moments.
Consider creating at least one “special events” bulletin board. This can be used to celebrate birthdays, the loss of a first tooth, new sisters or brothers (elementary); an historical event, a sports team victory, or a Student of the Week (secondary).
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.
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