Thinking about bulletin boards at the end of the school year or during summer vacation may sound crazy, but… it’s actually the perfect time to start planning! Setting up bulletin boards can seem overwhelming at the beginning of a new school year. With so many other things going on, putting together a bulletin board can sometimes slip your mind until the very last minute. That equals a lot of stress and maybe even a bulletin board you just don’t love. Here are 8 bulletin board tips and tricks to save time and help keep you stress free as you begin a new school year.
1. Start Before You End
Don’t be afraid to start planning out your bulletin boards for the new school year before the current year has even ended! It’s a good idea to make a list of possible bulletin board ideas you might want to use during the next school year.
If your school allows it, consider putting up your bulletin boards for the new school year on the last teacher workday. Then, cover them with big pieces of butcher paper to protect them from the summer cleaning. When you return for the new year, simply take the paper off and BAM! Your bulletin boards will be done and ready to go!
If you can’t set-up your bulletin boards in advance, take some time before the school year ends to write down a list of bulletin board ideas.
Making a plan for your bulletin boards gives you a starting place. And in those final days before the start of a new year, having an idea to build on will be a lifesaver!
2. Use What You Have On Hand
Make an inventory of what you already have on hand that could be used for your bulletin boards. Mix and match some borders and backgrounds you have used in the past to create new and creative bulletin boards. Or just try using your old resources in a new way. By stapling on border so that it makes waves, you can create a 3D effect that will make your bulletin boards pop.
Think outside the box and find items in your classroom that can be used on your bulletin boards. Every teacher has bits and pieces of projects or crafts hanging around at the end of the school year. Instead of tossing out all of the leftovers, use them to create a creative and fun bulletin board.
Be creative and look for non-traditional things that could be added to spice up a bulletin board. Anything that can be stapled on is fair game! And often these unexpected elements add lots of visual interest to the overall bulletin board design.
Getting creative with what you already have on hand will not only save you time, but will also save you money!
3. Organization Is Key
As you are putting up and taking down bulletin boards throughout the year, think about saving the decorations in labeled baggies or totes for easy access in years to come. Then, keep all of your bulletin board supplies in a designated area of your room for easy access.
Whether you are ready to plan out your bulletin boards for the year, or planning a month ahead, everything will be organized and easy for you to find. Keeping your bulletin board supplies in airtight containers will also help them last a long time which will save you money and time each year.
4. Choose a Classroom Theme
This is such a simple way to keep yourself sane throughout the school year when it comes to decorating, organizing, and creating bulletin boards. By choosing a theme, you have visual parameters to work in. And . . . it will also eliminate the necessity to change out an entire bulletin board.
You can keep up the background, border and theme decorations all year. Just switch out the student work or area of focus as needed. That means less of your precious time is needed to change or update a classroom display.
Choosing a theme for your classroom will help it feel more organized and inviting for both you and your students.
Be sure to check out some of the incredible classroom theme sets on the Appletastic Learning Website. With everything from Chalkboard And Burlap to an Outer Space classroom theme, you are sure to find something your class will enjoy all year long.
5. Keep It Simple
Putting up and taking down decorations on a bulletin board is time-consuming to say the least! Keep your bulletin board changes simple with a few clever hacks that will save you valuable time.
Some time saving hacks include:
- Use clothespins attached to your board to easily display and change out student work. No more staples and removing staples!
- Velcro tabs or command strips can make switching out sections of your bulletin board a breeze.
- Get a stick-on whiteboard or chalkboard to add to your bulletin board. Now all you have to do is draw, write, erase, and repeat.
- Connect bulletin board themes with what students are learning. Let their work be the center of attention and put it on display!
Get creative and don’t be afraid to try out new ways to display information on your bulletin board.
6. What Stays And What Changes?
Most teachers are responsible for changing out at least one or two bulletin boards every single month. This takes up a lot of your valuable time and energy. Instead of changing out an entire bulletin board, consider using materials that can be kept up all year long.
An awesome way to keep your bulletin board backgrounds looking fresh and new all year is to use fabric. Yep, fabric!
Using fabric for your background means you will only have to put it up once. You will never have to worry about those pesky staple marks or sun bleaching that can happen with butcher paper.
Fabric is so versatile and can be used year after year. It takes up very little storage space when not in use. Plus, fabric comes in so many different colors and patterns. You are sure to find something you will be happy to keep up all year long.
Teacher Tip: If you decide to use fabric, make sure you check your local fire codes before diving in. Some locations will not allow for the use of fabric and others require it to be treated with a fire retardant spray. Either way – know what to expect before you start. You don’t want to spend all your time creating an amazing bulletin board just to have to take it down because of the fire codes.
7. Bulletin Board Decor Swap
Get together with your teacher friends at the end of the school year and have a bulletin board decor swap. This is a super fun way to get some new-to-you decorations for bulletin board displays for the following year. It also helps you get rid of some of the old bulletin board decorations you no longer want to use.
Planning a bulletin board swap also gives you the opportunity to bounce some ideas off of other teachers. Get together in the library, common space, or even someone’s house and bring your old bulletin board decorations to swap out. Use tables or the floor to try out different decor combinations.
Take pictures of your favorite combinations. This will help you remember some of the great ideas when you are ready to put up your new to you bulletin board display.
8. Double Dip
It’s okay to double dip as long as you are talking about using your time more efficiently and not your chips and salsa. Create a bulletin board that has a dual purpose. Bulletin boards can easily become anchor charts that help to support students during a unit. It creates a learning tool that students can use as they work. By teaching students to use the tools around them, the can become more effective independent workers.
Creating an interactive bulletin board, like this Boggle board, is a great way to create an early finisher activity. As students complete their work they can use the interactive boards as a way to stay mentally engaged. Not only does this provide a fun and engaging activity for them to do, but it is a great classroom management tool too!
Save These Bulletin Board Tips And Tricks
Be sure to pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back again and again for bulletin board tips and tricks to help make your teacher life easier and less stressful.