Tried-It Tuesday: Bulletin Board Tips & Tricks

Confession time.
Some people become teachers to 
"see the light bulb go on," 
"to make a difference," 
"to challenge and inspire."

Why did I become a teacher...?
To create bulletin boards.
Well, that's not the only reason, but I do LOVE*LOVE*LOVE 
creating bulletin boards in the classroom.
I change my boards about every two weeks (some more often than others) and try to work it out so that I don't change all of them at once :)

I am going to walk you through my process of creating a bulletin board, but before I do, I want to share five of my 
"Tricks of the Trade" 
for creating bulletin boards
My Tools:
^This are the tools I use to create a bulletin board^
I keep them all in that handy-dandy pencil pouch. That way, when I'm ready to put up a bulletin board, I don't have to go searching through my too-often disorganized desk- I can just grab the pouch instead.

In the pouch I keep my *stapler* - my most-trusted tool. My mom bought me one of those awesome easy-press staplers that opens flat so I don't have to slam it into the wall over and over again. I also have extra staples, a staple remover, and tape. I often use the tape to stick letters or pictures onto the board before stapling. That way, I can move them around and make sure that they are straight before stapling.
Creating Bulletin Board Space
I have four bulletin boards inside my classroom, but only one wooden mounted bulletin board.
How does that work?
I have "created" bulletin boards on blank walls using plastic table cloths and borders. I use the long rectangular plastic table clothes (I find them for $1-$2 and they last me all year) and cut them to the size of the bulletin board that I want.

This was just a plain wall, but now you'd never know :)
I also took my one huge bulletin board and divided it into two by using two separate borders.
I can make it one large board:
Or divide in into two smaller ones:
 
Types of Bulletin Boards
I have three types of bulletin boards in my classroom:
*click each board to visit the blog post they come from*
1. Displaying Student Work:
On any given week, two or three of my bulletin boards are covered with student work. Why? To show off their hard work! When they put forth effort on a project, I want them to feel proud of how it turned out. 
2. Reference Board:
These are boards that cover important topics or concepts that students can refer to during a unit of study.
If you missed my *freebie* yesterday, you can find it here:
 3. Interactive Board:
These are boards that students can use as a learning center. They take things from the board or move things around on the board. It is especially effective in engaging kinesthetic learners:
 
Letters
I get my letters for the titles of my bulletin boards
from four places:
1. My Cricut
I use my Cricut to cut out letters - just program and press "Cut."
It's so fast and easy!

2. Die-cut Letters
I am so blessed to live near a Learning Resource Center, a place for teachers to go and die cut, laminate, and check out resource books. They have six different die cut fonts that I can choose from. My teaching partner, Rose from Rosie's Rambles, and I go each Thursday.
*Note: When I create a title, I usually glue the letters down onto strips or large pieces of construction paper to save time when putting them on the board. It also helps when I want to take the board down.
3. Letters from the Dollar Tree:
I punch them out and keep them organized alphabetically in a CD case:
 
 4. The Computer:

 
Creating Titles
When I decide on a project that I want to display on a bulletin board, I want to come up with a catchy title that pops off the board, explains the project, and also gives my students something to think about. I often  told my kiddos what I had planned for this board and then challenged them to come up with creative title suggestions. I like to get suggestions from students for a number of reasons:
1. It involves them in the process and lets them take ownership of the board
2. It gives valuable practice thinking creatively, using alliteration, catch phrases, rhyming words, etc.
3. It boosts their confidence when their title gets chosen - and brightens their day each time they see it
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is my step-by-step process for creating my latest board, "Appetizing Adjectives"
To accompany our study of adjectives, the students each brought in a picture of a food item and then have to write a persuasive advertisement for their food using at least five adjectives. 
It was a mouth-watering assignment!
First, I cut out my letters on the Cricut. I used a cute scrapbook paper print...just for fun :) 
I then glued the letters onto strips of black paper to make it easier to put up.
 
I then post the title on my board. I had both words centered, but then decided to put them on a diagonal. *Good thing I had used tape first - no staple-removing required*
When I was happy with the position, I stapled it down.
Then I added the clip art to add some pizazz to my board:
 Then I added the student work:
You can see my kiddos love pizza and candy.
Typical 10-year-olds :)
Here's a close-up of a couple:
Phew! What a post! I hope you can see my passion for bulletin boards :)
Thanks for persevering all the way to the end.

Hop on over to Holly's blog to see other fantastic ideas that teachers have tried:

2 comments :

  1. Great tips and fabulous bulletin boards. I have a love hate relationship with bulletin boards. I used to use the same staple remover as the one you show, but it would eat at my items when I pulled the staples out. So when I found one that a pen style stapler remover I was so happy. If you don't have one I highly recommend buying one, they are less than $5 and work soooo much better. I also love designing bulletin boards and enjoy putting them up. Though I hate how much time it takes to always be changing them. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks :)
    @ Wiley Teaching

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  2. Love these tips, Jessica! Your idea of keeping letters sorted in a CD case is genius! I also love your tip about putting the letters on paper before putting them up too. Thanks so much for linking up, friend! XXOO
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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