Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bulletin Boards for a New School Year

I went to school today to try to finish up my room. My students arrive ready for action on Monday. I still have tons left to do (is a classroom ever completely ready?), but at least to the untrained eye, we're almost there. A few more odds and ends to take care of tomorrow, and we'll be set. I'm quite excited. I got a new assistant this year, and we are working well together already.

I decided to decorate our classroom door up to look like the front of a little red school house. The pictures don't really so it justice, because it wraps around a corner, so in the photos, it looks a little uneven. (Also, I apparently wasn't holding the camera at exactly right angle. We got a new classroom camera and I'm still getting to know it.)

I use F.I.S.H. binders in my classroom for daily parent teacher communication. The acronym stands for Family Involvement Starts Here, and we encourage a lot of parent participation in our program, so this tends to fit our needs better than many of the other notebook acronyms. I try to do the bulletin board nearest the door representing the F.I.S.H. theme at the beginning if the year to tie things together.

I 've never noticed until I was standing back trying to snap this photo that my bulletin board is slightly warped!

 I've done the t-shirt theme on a board on and off a couple of times, but I got a roll of rolling hills background for the boards this year and decided to try it here as well as on one of my other boards.

For the last several years, I've done the cute, well-loved "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Look Who's In Our Room!" theme for outside my door. I'm always sad to take it down and because I tend to dress my door for seasonal changes, I usually need to take it down before I'm ready to see it go. I decided to use the Chicka Chicka theme on one our art boards so it would have a little more longevity this year. The caption reads "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Check Out The Art From Our Room!" Student work will cover this board and I'm planning to use coconuts with student names and pictures to hang with each student's art.

In the rear of our room, the bulletin board sits in the middle of two centers, dramatic play and computers. I try to have a sort of seasonal theme on it, but it is one of the first boards to get covered in art, so the background is only important for the first few days of school when it is still bare. As I mentioned earlier, I decided this year to make it easy on myself and treated myself to a pre-printed background. Most of my bulletin board backgrounds are made from plastic tablecloths. I can reuse them over and over, they last forever, and store away in a medium baggie. We do have bulletin board paper that is there, but it seems so wasteful to throw it right away after taking it down, so I end up storing it until I can use it (usually in art) again. Here's my extravagant (paper waste and $$) splurge.

Our writing center is always a challenge. Last year, I found some yellow CAUTION tape at the dollar store and used it as a border on a black background with the caption: "CAUTION! Writers At Work!" It was very cute, but I wanted a little change. I know several of the boys coming in my class enjoy dinosaurs, so I thought a dinosaur would be cute here.

With the exception of two small parent information boards (one is the yellow one pictured on the schoolhouse doorway), and our circle time boards, all of our boards end up covered in student work.  I start the year with a bare Circle Time board and add to it as I introduce concepts. There will be a community helper featured, a character word, poems, etc. that we will change out as we go along. I've found that often when starting school the first time, a busy circle time board can be a distraction until the students get used to everything on there. Even though their individual work is not displayed here, the students become a part of helping to build this board.

I love cute bulletin boards, and they are always a challenge. I am usually so busy teaching, that I can't enjoy really creating them during the school year, so my assistant will probably be doing most of the rest of the creative boards we'll have this year.  I try to start collecting ideas for the next year as I discover neat boards that others are doing. If you have a bulletin board idea or post, I'd love for you to leave a link in the comments. I may even add a link here!
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  1. Your creativity astounds me, Ayn! I'm lucky if I get our bulletin boards covered in white paper before the school year starts. =)

  2. These look like a lot of fun! You've been busy, Ayn.

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys! I have been busy, but am excited that I can finally get back to the business of teaching. I enjoyed visiting all the classrooms and floating about the school this summer, but I've missed being in the classroom.


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