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Bulletin Board Tips & Tricks

I have a love/hate relationship with my bulletin boards! Some years they seem to come together nicely-- and other years they seem a disaster!
Last year was tough because I only had 2 boards-- so I had to make a lot of bulletin board type areas on the bare walls of my room. This year-- I have about 5 boards-- and it came together nicely! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to getting a bulletin board you LOVE! Please note that this post contains some affiliate links for Amazon. 
One of my favorite trends going on right now is to add 3D elements to your board! This could be any range of items-- but most often I see:
  •  Banners and buntings. This editable pencil banner came from my writing bulletin board set-- found here.
These items do not have to be expensive-- and are usually homemade! I love the depth it gives a board! 
Sticking to a color scheme will add cohesion to your classroom decor! I usually try to do a uniform background paper on each board-- and then change up the trimmer. So even if you have a "rainbow" theme-- your eyes (and your students') aren't being overwhelmed by too many colors at once! 

My all time favorite bulletin board paper is the Pacon fadeless paper from Amazon! I bought this large roll and it went across 5 large bulletin boards (and I have more left). You can also find it at Michaels or  teacher stores-- but the rolls on Amazon are the biggest! They have a chalkboard colored paper that looks amazing! 

Here are some of my bulletin boards-- my color scheme is the wood paper, blues, and green. 
This is such a simple way to save $ on those letter cutouts from the teacher store! Here is the process:
  1. Open PowerPoint (I like landscape view)
  2. Click the "Insert" tab at the top and select "text box". Drag the text box across your page. 
  3. Type a letter you are needing and size it to about 500 (you can play with this sizing after changing the font)
  4. Choose a font you want-- remember that bolder fonts are easier to cut out by hand. Adjust text size again (if too large or small)
  5. Highlight the letter and click the "Format" tab at the top.
  6. Find "Text Fill" and make it white or "no fill"
  7. Find "Text Outline" and change it to black. While under the text outline option-- find "weight" and choose the heaviest option (I usually do 6 pt)
  8. Copy & Paste your letter-- then change it to the next letter you need. Right click the slide and select "duplicate" then change out more letters. 
  9. Print on any color you prefer!
Here is my math bulletin board with  homemade letters for a title: 
I always try to make a board for each topic I teach. This year I'm departmentalized. So I will have a board for math anchor charts and writing work (my 2 topics). One year I had a word wall, but I always forgot it was there-- so my students never used it. I have also put up center rotation boards and never used it. 

Think it over BEFORE you hang it up. If it can wait until after school begins-- wait. I ended up doing my math rotations via my smartboard (it was easier to switch the groups around). 

Here is an example of my writing board-- I also have class numbers on clothespins-- so the students and I can move their clips on the pencil chart to where they are in the writing process: 
Also, try to find things that are relevant to today's culture. A place to "tweet" about their favorite books or "Instagram" something cool they've done or learned today. They will love these boards! 
My last tip is perhaps the most important:Your bulletin boards DO NOT have to be full before the first day of school. In fact, it's best they aren't. 

Give them a place to showcase their work. If you're doing anchor charts-- leave places to hang them up! If you're all about that growth mindset or data growth boards-- wait until you've taught the students about it and THEN hang something up. 

They will be MUCH more likely to look at a board they helped create than a poster you printed and hung before school started. Trust me.

I hope you learned some new tricks today! Don't be afraid to leave it plain Jane for awhile :) 



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