One of the things I was most excited about as a new teacher was getting to create bulletin boards for my classroom. Bulletin boards can be such a useful resource and are a great way to display student work, introduce new concepts, and encourage students to learn more about a specific topic or person. As you head into a new school year you may be racking your brain to come up with engaging bulletin board ideas for the entire year. I’ve done a lot of different bulletin board designs over the years and want to share several easy, engaging bulletin board ideas for the year.
Tips for Creating Bulletin Boards
There are lots of tips and tricks for creating bulletin boards that I’ve learned over the years. You’re probably really excited to get started with designing bulletin boards for your classroom. To make the entire process more enjoyable, you can use these tips for design, setup, and tear down.
Use a Fabric Background
While using colored paper for your background is more traditional, fabric backgrounds have many more advantages. Fabric lasts much longer and holds up better on a bulletin board. You can also use patterned fabric for a fun contrast.
You’ll also find fabric hangs much smoother than paper. Staple marks and pinholes also aren’t as visible on a fabric background, so you can reuse it. Simply store your fabric by folding or rolling it up when not in use (you won’t have to worry about wrinkles like paper backgrounds because you can stretch and smooth it once it’s hung back up).
Laminate Bulletin Board Pieces
Laminating your bulletin board letters and basic design pieces will save you tons of time, energy, and money over the years. Your pieces will last much longer and store easier if they’re laminated. It will take more time upfront, but it will pay off greatly when you’re able to simply pull them out of storage and hang them.
Create Bulletin Board Kits
Store your bulletin board sets together so you can set them up easily each year. I like using plastic storage containers like these. They stack easily, are clear so you can see contents, and keep all pieces of a board together.
The plastic containers keep pieces from getting bent or faded while being stored from year to year.
Storing your kits this way also makes it easy to swap bulletin board setups with teammates or fellow teachers.
Use Thick & Bold Fonts
There are so many adorable fonts available on websites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy. While you may love the style of some decorative fonts, choose your fonts wisely! If you plan to cut out letters individually by hand stick to bold, thick fonts. These will be easiest to cut by hand and will hold up much better.
If you’re using a Cricut or other die-cut machine, you may be able to cut more intricate fonts easier. However, storing those pieces can be tricky because they’re more apt to bend and fold. Weld together words and cut around entire words when using thin, delicate fonts.
Unique Ideas for Bulletin
Bulletin boards can be a great tool in the classroom. Here are some ideas to make your bulletin boards unique and functional:
- Use paper mache letters for a 3-dimensional look (snag these cheap at Michaels or Joanns!)
- Add clothespins or velcro for students to easily add their work for display
- Utilize bulletin boards for anchor charts
- Design living bulletin boards that evolve as you cover topics in class
Bulletin Boards Ideas for the Whole School Year
You may have a few ideas for bulletin boards for the school year. If you plan to change your board out frequently though, you may be spinning your wheels on additional ideas. I’ve compiled a list of some engaging, fun bulletin board ideas for you to use in your upper elementary classroom.
A bulletin board can be a great central information station for your classroom. You can use your board to build community, create structure, and reinforce classroom procedures. Try displaying your classroom jobs, classroom goals, or making an interactive communication board with positive affirmations or student created jokes!
I’ve created an accountable talk sentence starter bulletin board set that is a great for the beginning of the school year. This printable set helps set the expectations for student communication and discussion in class. Students will learn to confidently and politely participate in peer discussions. This resource gives great examples of agreement statements, disagreement statements, and can help students express their opinions.
Bulletin boards can be a way to show off student work. Consider using your board as a fun way to share things like student book reviews. Giving other students the opportunity to read reviews of other books will encourage them to seek out new titles. It also gives provides a way to assess reading comprehension without a formal assessment or assignment.
You can also create a brag board where students can independently hang assignments, works of art, or other things they are particularly proud of. This would be a great use for the clothespins so students can switch out their work frequently.
Historical Figures and Celebrations
Use your bulletin boards to celebrate and highlight monthly celebrations like Women’s History Month and Black History Month. Create boards that introduce important inventors, scientists, and presidents to your class. You may not have the opportunity to dive into some of these topics and historical figures in your lesson plans, so using a bulletin board to introduce them is a great way to ensure your students get exposure.
Since there are many events and people that you can highlight on these types of bulletin boards, these designs are a great opportunity to get your students involved. Assign specific people or topics to your students and have them help design and assemble the board.
I use these printable bulletin board kits with my students to create student-led boards. We create these boards during specific months of the year when learning about certain topics.
Topic Specific Boards
You can use bulletin boards to help reinforce certain topics and skills in the classroom. It’s a great way to have important information displayed so students see it frequently and can use it as a resource while completing work.
Here are some topic ideas that make fantastic bulletin boards:
- Careers in science
- Natural disasters
- States of matter
- Moon phases
- Plant or animal life cycle
- Forces of energy
- Function and parts of a cell
- Writing process
- Literary genre guide
- All about location (state, country or continent)
There are so many fun ways to design bulletin boards. With a little bit of preparation, using the tips I suggested above, and your imagination you can create boards that your students will love and remember for years to come.
I’m always looking for new bulletin board ideas for my classroom. What are some of your favorite bulletin boards that you’ve created for your class or school? Share in the comments below!
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