First, thanks to Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her Made It Monday Linkup!
Full disclosure. I hate bulletin boards. There, I said it. I know that's blasphemous in a Link up with super creative, crafty types like yourself. But, please, before you judge me, let me explain.
When I first started teaching I had an amazing fourth grade teaching mentor by the name of Nancy. At the beginning of each month she would diligently pull out these cute, already prepared bulletin boards that she had created and neatly filed away to use. Usually these were taken from ideas in Mailbox magazine and were most often used to display exceptional student work. With all of the other things I felt I needed to do in my first year teaching, I dreaded having to change my bulletin boards at the end of every month. It became a chore. On top of that, not only were they not as nice as the ones by my mentor, but I felt like they weren't worth the time and effort that it took to put them together. Too often, they were just for decoration, and it was frustrating to me that students barely even noticed when they were changed.
All that being said, I understand that teachers today now use bulletin boards for more than just window dressing. The best bulletin boards are student-centered, interactive, and purposeful. Still, sometimes I just can't shake that old feeling when there's a bulletin board that I need to put up. So while its not my specialty, per se, I still think I've come up with a few decent bulletin board ideas. Here are a few I've made in the past:
We are a team of three classes, hence the three columns of names in the middle. I teach with Mary Dressel at 4th Works who teaches Language Arts and Mary Beth who teaches Social Studies and Science.
|My son designed our web logo himself in the game of Minecraft|
We call ourselves Team Mindcrafters, playing off of the immensely popular game video game, Minecraft. I got the idea for the team name and for the bulletin board from my son who is a real Minecraft Whiz. He showed me this site where you can make Minecraft foldables of all kinds. So, before school started we folded and taped all of the blocks and characters.
|A little clear tape and a pin was used to put the block on the board|
|A google search helped us find a couple Minecraft fonts to use.|
|Mary, Mary Beth and I created characters to resemble each of us.|
Mary Beth, who loves jewelry, even added a few tiny gems to her character. :)
Another simple beginning of the year bulletin board that the students seemed to like is my movie-themed board. Included is a popcorn container overflowing with packing peanuts, a "clapboard" from Party City, tickets from Office Depot, a printed class list ("Starring actors"), pictures from previous fourth grade activities, and finally "reviews."
This is the movie marquee that I made, but you could make create your own here. or do a google image search and modify your own!
|Class Dojo has its own free "decoration pack"|
of images that can be printed and used for bulletin boards
|I did a screen grab of the student's names and avatars for inside the dojo|
I got my idea for this bulletin board from another site, but put it together for a different purpose. I developed this after I was having trouble keeping the students using apps related to skill areas we were working on. For example, we might be working on factors and multiples, and I might find a student playing Stack the States.
|The board with some of the Place Value|
apps I used to start the year
I started by finding an image of an iPad that would work to print. It needed to be blank and high resolution so it didn't look grainy when it printed.
Then I sent the image online to my local Office Max to print it poster sized. Unfortunately, I had to send it to print in black and white because I'm cheap and the color cost over $20. The black and white was only $3.38. When I got to Office Max though, I discovered that they accidentally printed it in color. Bonus!
|The board being put up in my Math enrichment area.|
|The icon for one of my favorite |
Math games - Factor Samurai
Thank you!Since you made it all the way to the end of my blog, how about a little treat for your effort? Here is one of my products on Teachers Pay Teachers that I'll make free for a few days. Its fun and challenging for your students, and its a different style of task card than you are used to. I hope you like it. Enjoy!