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Instead of recycling your own ideas year after year, why not pull some new ideas from the list below? These titles each include a brief description of the graphics to go with the bulletin board. Don't forget to send us your own ideas from previous years and we'll add them to the list too (and give you credit, of course!)
____ Grade is Popping with Excitement - giant bag of popcorn (idea from C Lloyd)
The You in Us - "The first few weeks I have [students write] journals that are poems about themselves (bio poem, name acrostic, etc.). While they are writing or working in their groups, I also take candids. I post the journal entry of their choice (after they polish, type it, or put in finished product form) with the candids. After the first few days, THEY bring in pictures to put up with their poems. As the works come in, I can change the postings or keep adding the new ones. My hs-ers like this every year. The only thing you need to be careful about is taking their pictures and getting permission before hand. Our county has an established policy for that. (idea from Jeannie Arbegast)
A Bushel of Fun - Use a bushel basket drawing on the bulletin board and fill it with goods from the Fall harvest season (squash, pumpkins...) then change out items in basket as year progresses.
We Love This School - individual names printed on identical fish, use a blue background and other sea life for a school of fish
Falling into Place (or Fall into Learning) - Autumn theme with a tree and different gold, red and brown shades of leaves falling to the ground, use students names if desired
Everybody Fits in Here - design a large-scale colorful jigsaw puzzle, put students' names on individual puzzle pieces
The Sign of Good Things to Come - design different road signs and street signs with regular events and dates listed (for instance: All-School Yard Sale, September 20th, see Mrs. Cromwell to donate items), list all important upcoming dates so students can be reminded of the fun stuff to look forward to.
Play on Names - To help kids remember all the new teachers' names, do a play on words: Mrs. Cromwell could become Mrs. "Chrome-wheel" on a bulletin board showing off the front section of a car with a shiny silver hubcap. Be creative...
_____ Grade...Now Starring... - While the children get settled in on the first day of school doing some simple seat work (mini-assessments, getting to know you sheets, etc.) I take a Polaroid picture of each one, have them write their name on the white part at the bottom (a quick assessment of handwriting!) and then I post each photo on a star. It helps me to learn their names and them to learn each other's. They also do a handwriting sample copying a poem from the board which I return to them on the last day of school with their photo from the first day of school. (idea from SKetts)
Nuts About School - use acorn and squirrel graphics
We're a Colorful Class - paint buckets with paint brushes and student's names on different colors of construction paper cut to look like paint spills (idea from Jane)
We're a Great (or Grape) Bunch - huge bunch of grapes with students' names and a smiley face on each grape (idea from Jane)
_____ Grade Handiwork - Make individual hand graphics that say: Give a hand, Hold a hand, Lend a hand, Guide a hand. Then have each child trace and cut out a their hand. They each drew themselves, but it could be a writing piece too. The board title was "FIRST GRADE HANDIWORK" border was hands too. You can also purchase name tags with a border of hands. (idea from Joan E Maywalt)
Best Bunch of _____ Graders - with bunches of grapes (idea from Joan E Maywalt)
Great Scot! Look Who's in _____ Grade - scottie dog graphic (idea from Joan E Maywalt)
Leap into Learning - frog poster as centerpiece and other lily pads (from a bulletin board set of frogs) will be keys to success for learning, such as "Come prepared for class" "Have a positive attitude", and so forth. (idea from Susan Hewett)
Hop into _____ Grade - "I am on a 6th grade team at a Madison Middle School. Since we are welcoming new students to our school, I always individualize the first bulletin board and include everyone. Since I received a large frog from a company selling large (bulletin board) items, I decided to use it. I colored it green and had it laminated. I then went to my wonderful Print Artist program and found a jumping frog. I added each child's name to each frog, printed them on green paper, and laminated them. I'll put up blue paper, add a few lily pads, and my title will be HOP INTO SIXTH GRADE. The students LOVE to see their names on the bulletin board and when it is taken down, will get their individual frogs." (idea from Carolyn Lifland)
(teacher's name) Ti-rrific Kids - Use outdated colorful men's ties. Attach names of students on ties and tack ties folded to look as if tied under caption. (idea from Judy Watson)
Our Future's So Bright...We've Got to Wear Shades! - With this headline and a border of stars, place Polaroid pictures of students wearing goofy sunglasses (from home or from the Oriental Trading Company). This can be done individually, for a small class, or in group shots forĄ middle school-level classes/teams. Students can place post-it type notes near their photos, addressed to Mom or Dad, for Open House. Parents can even respond on similar notes. The photos may be saved (after the board is taken down) and given out at the end of the year. (idea from "Kowray")
Swing into ____ (good grades in math) - I do this bulletin board in the fall and put a child's plastic toy doughnut ring on a small rope and make it a rope swing on a fall tree. (idea from Karen Martin)The ten commandments of math (click here for the ten commandments) - "I make a stone tablet out of gray paper and make it look like the tablet Moses had and print out the ten rules. HS students loved it!" (idea from Karen Marti
Have you got a great bulletin board idea? Contribute it! We'd be happy to display a picture too, just attach your photo as a gif or jpeg. Don't forget to tell us who you are!
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Whether you buy ready-made letters or use or cut your own for bulletin boards, there are some tricks for putting them up. If you're centering the head on the board, mark the center of the board with a piece of tape, then layout the letters on a table. Find the center of the headline, and begin putting up the letters from the center, working your way out to both ends. A mistake often made is to space them too far apart. Headline letters are usually set tighter than small type; it won't hurt if the letters touch. Also, rounded caps like "O" and "C" are really taller than squared-off letters like "A" and "M". Make sure they extend beyond the imaginary top and bottom lines formed by the other letters.