Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bulletin Boards {Tips and Tricks}

Bulletin Boards.  Teachers either love them or hate them.  I love them.  A lot.   Keep reading for some tips and tricks to make your bulletin board life a bit easier!


Bulletin boards are a great way to showcase student work, changing them out freshens up our space, and the kids love seeing their work on display!  Displaying student work is an easy way to help students establish ownership and develop a sense of pride in their work.   So, I make sure to showcase their work regularly! 

I have three bulletin boards total, and each showcases student work.  One is in our main hallway and two are inside my classroom.  I change out these boards once a month.  So, how do I keep these boards updated each month?  It's easy! 

The Hallway Board
The hallway board is always the first one that gets changed out each month. I always aim for the first week of the month.  The decor framing this space stays put all year long.  I have a Rock Star classroom theme, so I carried the theme out into the hallway.

We are required to showcase writing on our hallway boards, but I usually display a small craft alongside the writing.  Since we write every day, it's pretty easy to come up with some sort of piece to showcase on this board.

As you can see, I just staple the work to the wall.  I don't cover the wall with fabric or butcher paper With that said, the color of this wall is terrible for showcasing work. It needs some pop of color, so I always hang construction paper behind the students' writing.  When I go to hang it up, I simply layer the writing page on top of the construction paper and staple them in place at the same time. This saves a ton of time!


The Classroom Boards
Ok, let's talk about those boards inside the classroom.  One of these boards is our designated self portrait gallery wall, and I never change that board out. I just can't bring myself to do so. It's so darn cute and it always makes me smile.  By keeping this board up all year long, I save more time!  



But, I do change out the second bulletin board in our classroom.  Sometimes I showcase writing on this board, and sometimes I showcase a math or art project.  In other words, I don't go out of my way to create an elaborate display that requires extra planning and preparation. I simply choose something interesting that we are doing and hang it up.  Remember to keep it simple and showcase anything your students have done that would make them proud!

The adorable zombie board shown above is from Haley O'Connor.  You can find her Zombie Data Pack here.  My students had a blast with it!

 

Just like I do in the hallway, I only switch out the students' work on these board.  That's it.
  • I don't replace borders. 
  • I don't replace fabric.
  • And, I very rarely include headings to match the work (and if I do, the students make it, like in the rainbow example above).

I simply do not have the time to create a brand new bulletin board each month. Instead, I set up the board (fabric and borders) before the start of the new school year and simply change out the student work each month.  Easy peasy!


Tips for Covering the Boards
Use solid colored fabric.
  • This allows the student work to stand out, or "pop" against the fabric.  I've used patterned fabric before, and there is certainly nothing wrong with using it, but the work didn't really stand out as I liked.  I also have a very, very small classroom, too much print would create a chaotic feeling.  
Keep the same borders up all year.
  • I like to double up my borders to add visual interest. Since I use solid colored fabrics to help showcase student work, I can add a little fun and playfulness around the edges.
Hanging Student Work
I prefer to staple my students' work to my boards. This way, I can make sure it lays flat against the wall/board.  Not everyone staples their work though.  My sweet neighbor likes to use push pins.  She loves how quick and easy it is to hang up the work this way.  Genius! Wish I took a picture of that for you!  I have also used clothespins, and they are quick and easy when it comes to switching out work, but I found that I ultimately prefer to staple. 


Quick Clean Up Tip
If you're like me and you prefer to staple you students' work to the board, your floor might look like this (or worse) once you're done removing the old work. 


What a mess, and a pain!  I have a quick and easy solution to that problem.  Got one of these?


Yep, a magnet is all you need!  Simply hover the magnet over that scattering of staples and be amazed at how quickly you can pick 847 staples up off the ground.  That number may or may not be a slight exaggeration.  But, seriously, it is the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to pick those little pokey beasts up off the ground.


I hope you found a few tips and tricks that you can use!  Thanks for stopping by!

DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!

 

Share It:

14 comments:

  1. LOVE your bulletin boards Aimee!! I do the same thing--keep the borders and background up all year and just swap out student work! I love that all of your bulletin boards are devoted to student work! It's so important for them to feel ownership of their space and pride in their work! So glad you linked up!!

    Becca :)
    Foxwell Forest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Becca! It is such an easy way to keep the boards current, right? I agree, it really is important that the students see their work on display! They **love** to find their work and point it out to their classmates. Thanks for hosting such a fun linky!

      Aimee

      Delete
  2. Well, I'm a bit behind on reading blog posts since this is from April! I hope you still see my comment since I have a question. I went to your TPT store and searched for zombies but came up empty. Do you recall where that resource came from? I've GOT to have it--I know my kiddos will love it too!! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Terri! I'm not Aimee :) But I can answer your question. She linked the zombie project in her post above: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Zombie-Data-A-Graphing-Mini-Unit-473037
      I hope this helps!

      Lacey
      The Fabulous Life of an Elementary Teacher

      Delete
  3. Great post! As a fellow staple person, my favorite tool is the palm tacker! If you can find one they are the best ever. No awkward open staplers. :) I love the magnet idea and am going to get a donut shaped one, tie a string to it so I can swing it along the floor. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I just looked up that stapler and it looks amazing! Thank you for sharing. I love the donut shaped magnet idea. Super clever!

      Aimee

      Delete
  4. One year - somehow - a student broke the bottom/base off of a new stapler. I was ready to toss it until I realized that it was now perfect for bulletin boards. No flops, angled base to maneuver out of the way. It's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! My stapler is in the same boat. The base is gone, but it is absolutely perfect for stapling to the wall. Don't you love it when things work out like that? Thanks for stopping by today!

      Aimee

      Delete
  5. I love the fabric idea! To save a lot of time, I hang clothes lines in the hall and on our student artwork bulletin board inside the classroom. I simply clothespin the work to hang. Easy up and easy to change. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My teaching partner and I were just talking about that idea today! It would be a great time saver and definitely mess free! :)

      Aimee

      Delete
  6. Great tips! I have 8 bulletin boards, so I'm not fond of them. Many stay the same all year! Too much time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, eight boards? That is crazy, and I don't blame you. I would definitely keep many of up them all year long too. Smart lady! ;)

      Aimee

      Delete
  7. Aimee,
    Great hints. I am a die hard fabric instead of paper fan. An upgrade on the magnet for cleaning up staples: put the magnet inside a plastic sandwich bag. When you finish, turn the bag inside out and and the pins are in the bag and the magnet is clean and ready to go again!

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are great, thank you! One thing I like to do when I use clothespins is to glue a push pin to the back of it, so that I'm not putting staple or push pin holes through any student work. It's also great because I find clothes pins can give more dimension to a board sometimes than just the push pins themselves. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say!