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Bulletin Boards

July 15, 2014

During the first years of my teaching career, I would spend two weeks in the summer covering every bulletin board and wall space with educational merchandise.
The students walked into a room that was splashed with information and color .
There was one wall to post some of their work, but students had no input in setting up the boards.
Basically, the bulletin boards emphasis was on decoration rather than on  instruction, learning, and showcasing the indivdual student.
After a few years of experience, conversations with my peers, and researching the topic of the purpose of bulletin boards, I changed the manner in which I prepared my room.

Of course, the grade level you teach dictates some items that must be posted.  Also, the design and space of your room will affect what you can post.
Here are the basic teaching tools necessary in your classroom:

  • grade level appropriate alphabet (even if it is just for the proper formation of letters)
  •  grade level appropriate math chart and number line
  • Word Walls for each subject are also important instructional tools. Words should be added as students are introduced to the words.

It helps to divide the bulletin board space into the major subjects (math, reading, writing, science, and social studies).
One style of border for all the boards, and labels for each subject keep the room environment simple and less distracting.
The boards are left for student work and anchor charts that are changed regularly in order to keep current with the instruction that is taking place.
Students enjoy being in charge of what is posted on the boards. It helps to promote the feeling of ownership.
The information on the board is utilized more since the students created the charts with the teacher.
Anchor charts can be photographed and posted in Power Point presentations or in hard copy and placed in folders for students to use as reference or review.
I was fortunate to have enough bulletin boards to include a large area for displaying student art.
Here are four questions to ask before purchasing any items for your room:

  • Will it reflect the learning that is taking place in the classroom?
  • Will it promote student ownership of learning?
  • Will it add to the learning environment and be used for referencing and review?
  • Will it showcase the individuals in the classroom?


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