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February 13, 2015 Ideas for Reusing Bulletin Boards By Rhonda Stewart
Grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Bulletin boards are used to reflect and highlight what is going on in the classroom. They are great visual tools that add a little something extra to the classroom décor. I have two small bulletin boards in my classroom that are used to display student work — usually our published writing. There are also numerous bulletin boards throughout my building that are assigned to groups of teachers to complete. There is a schedule created at the beginning of the school year that my colleagues and I adhere to. Mostly, those bulletin boards are used to display data reflecting student achievement. My colleagues work really hard at trying to find a balance between being eye-catching with the display, as well as showcasing the data. As I walk through the hallways, I have moments when I long for the cutesy bulletin boards that are normally created in the younger grades.

    Currently, my school is in the midst of several activities in all curriculum areas for Black History Month. One of the daily activities celebrating Black History Month is announced over the intercom with the morning announcements. The students and staff listen to a quote from a famous African American or someone who has made a great impact on the African-American experience. Hearing these quotes each morning caused me to have another light bulb moment: use the daily quotes as an opportunity to create a bulletin board honoring the people who said the quote. I know that most of you will probably have your displays up by the time of this post, but you can use this idea throughout the year for other historical events such as, Women's History Month, Earth Day, Memorial Day, etc., or save it for next year. 

    I have complemented the quote with an image of the African-American personality. The quotes came from people who were well-known in politics, entertainment, sports, and social justice. Once I made the mini-posters, I put them together to create a larger display with impact. You can create your own bulletin board display with this Black History Month bulletin board template or Women's History Month bulletin board template.


    Samples of Mini-posters




    (Hint for displaying bulletin boards: Use pushpins to place your materials on your bulletin before you staple. This will allow you to take a good look at your display and make any necessary changes.)

    All of the mini-posters together became the bulletin board that can be used for the following activities:


    1. Create “Who Am I?”

    Each student receives a person to research and then create a riddle about to share with the class. Groups of students share their riddles with their classmates over several days. Students can be grouped by the category that they are researching.

    2. Explanatory Writing

    Students write a response to the quote explaining what it means to them. This gives the students an opportunity to use their “essay-writing muscles.”

    3. Technology Research Project

    Choose a quote and research what affect it has had on our culture. PowerPoint and Prezi are viable vehicles to use to present the projects.

    I am including the materials that I used for Black History Month (just in case) as well as a jump-start for Women's History Month. Please feel free to make any changes necessary to fit the needs of your students.

    This was really quick and easy! Moving forward, I plan to have my students more involved in the process instead of giving them the quote and image. They are really tech-savvy and would be more creative with the posters than me!

    Pearls of Wisdom — Find a burnout-prevention buddy. Someone who will be there to help you when you need it and who you'll be there for too. 

    Do you have any bulletin board ideas that work for you? As always, I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!



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