A bright bulletin board display in the classroom is a great way to get students engaged and motivated before class even begins. Even better, there are an infinite number of designs and applications for these boards, allowing you to personalise your design based on your current curriculum, upcoming school events, holidays, and more. More interactive displays can even involve students and other faculty!
Method 1 Planning the Basic Layout
1. Choose a theme for the board. The first step in decorating your bulletin board is to decide on a theme. Consider the board’s purpose, such as welcoming students to your classroom or encouraging them to read. Then, to tie everything together, choose a colour scheme or a fun theme, and select decor that fits that theme.
For example, if you’re making a back-to-school board, you could use the theme “Hop to Mrs. Taylor’s Class!” and decorate it with frogs and lily pads labelled with your students’ names.
If you’re stuck for ideas for bulletin board displays, look to school calendars, holidays, and upcoming lesson plans!
2. To create a colourful background, cover the board with craft paper. Choose a solid-colored craft paper and completely cover the back of your board once you’ve decided on the colours for your board. To ensure that you cover the board from top to bottom, you may need to overlap two pieces of paper.
For your frog-themed bulletin board, you could use a blue background to resemble a pond, or a brown background to resemble mud.
You could use wrapping paper instead of craft paper to make a festive holiday board. However, anything with a complicated pattern or multiple colours should be avoided, as a busy background will make your design difficult to see.
Large rolls of craft paper can be found at your local classroom supply store or craft store.
3. For a more defined look, create borders that match your colour scheme. If you prefer the look of more traditional bulletin boards, consider adding a border. Fortunately, pre-made bulletin board borders are available at most craft stores, classroom supply stores, and online. Choose one that complements your design and staple it in place.
Borders are available in a variety of colours and patterns, such as stripes, dots, zig-zags, and others.
You can also add your own border if you prefer, or leave it off entirely.
4. Important information should be displayed in large letters at eye level. Consider the message you want to convey when designing your board decoration. Then, place whatever that information is at an adult’s eye level, and make it slightly larger than the rest of the details on the board.
For example, on your back-to-school board, you could write “Hop to Mrs. Taylor’s Class!” in big, bold letters about a third of the way down the board.
If you’re making a board for a school dance, you could write “Winter Dance” in large letters at the top of the board and the date in slightly smaller letters underneath.
5. Decorate with bright, colourful decorations that complement your theme. Once your background is in place and the basic information is in place, decorate the board with bright cut-outs, artwork, or photos. Try not to overcrowd the board, but add enough detail that you don’t have large blank spaces in your design.
You could add a few large frogs to your back-to-school board, then write a student’s name on each lily pad. Arrange the lily pads across the bottom two-thirds of the board, and the frogs in the top corners of the board.
Method 2 Coming up with Fun Ideas
1. Make a new board for each unit of study in your class. If you’re decorating a board in your classroom, consider changing it every time you start a new unit. Because you’ll have a constantly rotating source of notice board topics, this can help keep students engaged in what they’re learning, and your classroom will feel fresh and exciting throughout the year.
For example, if you’re teaching multiplication in the first quarter and division in the second, you could start with a board with times tables and then switch to a board with grouping.
Try This Thought! Make a word search or crossword puzzle using words from the unit you’re studying.
2. Make a selfie board to encourage students to celebrate their accomplishments. If you send pictures of your students to parents on a regular basis, consider establishing a selfie station in your classroom or hallway. Decorate your board with an eye-catching, simple design that will look great in photos. Then, whenever your students accomplish something worth celebrating, take a picture of them in front of the board!
Your board, for example, could say something like “Reading Stars!” You could use stars to decorate the board. Then, on Mondays, you could take a picture of the students in your class who had the highest three reading scores the previous week and post it on your classroom website.
Consider creating a hashtag for your classroom that you can display on the board!
3. Make use of your board to commemorate upcoming holidays. If you think your students will be excited about something coming up on the calendar, consider making a board to recognise it! For example, you could make a bulletin board reminding students to read over the summer, a flag-themed board to commemorate Veterans’ Day, or a board with mittens and snowmen before winter break.
Avoid boards that single out specific religious celebrations to be sensitive to students’ diverse beliefs. A multicultural board covering different cultures’ celebrations, such as winter holidays or global New Year’s festivals, may be sufficient.
4. Celebrate Spirit Week by creating a board that lists each day’s theme. Each day of Spirit Week will have a different theme, and students may be encouraged to dress in outfits that correspond to those themes. These spirit days can be school-wide, but specific grades or classes may have their own themes. Make a board in your school’s colours and include a poster with the theme for each day if you want to participate.
For example, “Monday: Sock Hop Day,” “Tuesday: Wacky Hair Day,” “Wednesday: Tacky Day,” and so on.
5. Make a bulletin board with a list of your classroom goals or rules. Consider putting up a list of affirmations, goals, or rules in your classroom if you want to make a board that you can leave up throughout the year. These visual reminders can be an excellent way to help students stay on track throughout the school year.
Try phrasing rules as “Things We Should Do” rather than “Things We Don’t Do” to keep your board feeling upbeat.
Goals could include things like getting a certain score on standardised tests or reading a certain number of books during the year. You can even include a chart to track the progress of the class toward the goal!
Method 3 Getting Students and Staff Involved
1. When students are caught being kind, post it on the board. One great way to use school bulletin boards is to ask students to share anonymously when they see another student doing something nice for someone else. Then, display those accomplishments on the board to show off how wonderful your students are!
You can ask other teachers to contribute to the board instead of students if you prefer.
2. Engage students by having them help decorate the board. If you’re designing a new board in the middle of the semester, try to involve your students! Allow each student to write, draw, or decorate a different element of the board, and then include them all in the final design!
For example, if your board’s theme is “Reach for the Stars,” you could give everyone a paper cutout of an arm and a hand to decorate.
If your theme is “Future Careers,” ask each student to write down what they want to be when they grow up.
3. To recognise outstanding students, create a Student of the Week board. Students enjoy being praised, and displaying accomplishments on a notice board is a great way to do so! Each week, highlight a different student or group of students, including information about each individual and what they did to be recognised.
Rather than focusing on the same high achievers each week, try to rotate your students of the week so that each student gets a chance to be recognised.
For example, your board could say, “Hats Off To…” Then, you could add a tophat with the student’s name and picture to the board.
4. For a fun competition, host a notice board contest between classrooms. Consider inviting each class to decorate their own board if each classroom on your hall has its own board. When the boards are finished, ask the principal or teachers from another hall to judge them. Make sure to solicit feedback from your students on the design of your board!
Consider offering a prize, such as a pizza party or extra recess, to the winning class.
You can also hold a student art contest and display the winners on your bulletin board.
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