Lesson #6 Keep it Current
If you have a large insect on your bulletin board that is labelled and surrounded by bug reports, and the “mini-beasts” unit was last semester, it’s time for a change. Block colours help with this point too.
It is okay for boards to start bare and be added to as a teaching and learning unit progresses. In fact, this is a good way to make sure your bulletin boards are up to date and referred to by students. Word walls are a common example of this.
Another way to keep things current is to make your boards generic. Five-Star Work would be a great board for students to show off what they have done in practically any unit theme. This board can stay the same all year round, but look different almost every week. Some teachers purposely design their bulletin boards so that some elements are generic and will be static for the entire year. They leave space for charts to be added, like in the pinned image below.
Some teachers choose to create one or two interactive boards which are almost constantly changing. Here are some examples of interactive bulletin boards that are easy to set up at the beginning of the year and maintain (as a current and useful learning tool) throughout the year.
Most of the pins below show boards that ask students to respond or add to the board using post-it notes. You can change the essential question weekly or daily if you like and this can provide valuable feedback about student learning or classroom climate. One of the pins is year long – students can add names of books they have read or interesting words they find when reading (posted in the classroom so they can use them when they are writing).
Many teachers turn one of the bulletin boards in the room into a simple game. One example is a large boggle board- click here to find lots of resources and classroom examples of classroom Boggle on Pinterest. The letters are randomly selected and posted at the beginning of each week. If and when students finish early they can write down any words they find using the letters on the board. The student with the most words at the end of the week can receive a small prize. You can make the scoring more complicated by assigning points according to the length of the words. Other simple games such hangman or who am I? could be used as well. Riddles, guessing games or weekly challenges could also add an interactive component to your classroom walls.
WOW- Lots of Pins to check out in this post. If you need ideas for bulletin boards in your classroom, you MUST visit Pinterest. It is the best location for seeing what is possible in your classroom and learn about how other teachers (just like you and me) have used their bulletin boards to enhance student learning.
This post brings our series to a close. Please comment if you have any lessons you have learned or ideas you want to share with us. Feel free to use the comments form to ask any questions too.
Back to Work… you wouldn’t believe this, I actually have a bulletin board project I have to finish!