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Bulletin Boards

Do You Need An April Bulletin Board Idea?

I was assigned the duty of doing one of our cafeteria bulletin boards this month, so with lots of thought I decided on the title  “Right Answers Keep Falling on My Head”.  This  title came as a marriage of an April rain showers theme and a testing theme–the spring state testing is a huge deal at my school.  I used a math font that creates testing bubbles so that I could put test bubbles inside the rain drops.  I double spaced these and just cut the drops out free-handed.  I used bulletin board paper to create the umbrella which I sketched out free-handed.  Next I wanted to put the back of a little girls head on the bottom so the rain drops could actually be falling on a child’s head.  We have a predominately African American student population, so I tried to mimic the cute, twisty ponytails that the girls wear.  I took black yarn and wrapped it around a piece of circular cut cardboard for the girls head. To create the ponytails, I wrapped yarn around the top of a copy paper box.  Then I tied it off so it would go around the circular cardboard.  Next, I cut the ends of the huge yarn loop that I had wrapped around the box lid so that they would be loose to twist like braids.   Finally, I braided/twisted the yarn to look like little twisty braids and finished them off with yellow bows.  I hope this will spark an idea for you to use!



Try This Incentive to Encourage Students to Count to 100

The idea of belonging to a club makes kids feel like they belong.  With that said, one of our kindergarten teachers came up with the idea of belonging to the “100 Club”.   What does it take to belong to the 100 Club?  Well, you guessed it…you must be able to count to 100!  I took this idea a step further and suggested that we hang all of the kids pictures on the wall that were in the 100 club.  We will add to this as the remaining students are able to count to 100.  The kids have taken an extra interest in counting to 100 especially if their pictures aren’t on the wall!  This display of the students’ pictures has grabbed students’ attention of course as well as parents and staff members.  We even have a kindergartener that told her teacher, “I counted to 100 in my pillow 3 times last night before I went to bed.” 🙂

How to Set Up Your Data Wall?

I know when I was faced with the challenge of setting up a data wall, I didn’t really like the way I had it set up the first two years.  Since then I have developed this idea which I borrowed from the middle school teachers at a school nearby.  They used large pocket charts for each grade level and they colored students names with highlighters to indicate students’ proficiency levels.  Then they used different stickers to indicate other factors such as special ed, after school tutoring, etc.  While I really liked the middle school teachers’ idea, I didn’t like the fact that the student names were showing on the outside, which didn’t give the students privacy of test scores.

Sticker key to mark different student factors on each student data card.

Using the middle school teachers’ idea,  I revamped their data wall for our school’s math wall.  I used colored index cards to indicate proficiency level.  That way we could identify students’ initial proficiency levels on the card, and they would quickly pop to the eye when they were moving up or down the wall.  The only writing that faces the outside of the wall is the quarterly test data, and no students’ names.  So, for example, when the pink cards (proficient students) move down after a quarterly assessment to the basic level, we can easily see that these students need intervention to move  back up to proficiency.  We different use stickers to mark students with special factors such as students who go to school sponsored tutoring.  That way at the end of the year, we can determine if after school tutoring was effective by looking at students who score proficient at the end of the year state tests.

Data Wall Pocket Chart for 4th grade at the beginning of the year.             (sorry about the cardboard box)

The Data Wall Pocket Chart after one Quarterly Assessment. Notice how the colored cards moved up and down.

The key for the cards is as follows:

  • Green= Advanced
  • Pink= Proficient
  • Yellow= Basic
  • Orange= Below basic

Notice how the green cards moved down.  That means they didn’t score as well on their quarterly test.  Many of the orange cards and a few of the yellow cards moved up so that let’s us know that these students improved.

A close up of the data wall card so you can see how we keep track of the data.  The first number is the state test.  The second number is the 1st quarterly assessment.  Students names are on the back of the card so that they are hidden from public view.  If a student has been present at the school for two consecutive school years, then we stapled their card behind the initial card so that we could have two years worth of data on the wall.  Notice that you can see a little pink behind the green cards.  This means that the students scored proficient the year before this one, so they are solid low-risk students which will not be targeted for interventions .

Bulletin Board On Fire!

For the past two years we have honored students who scored proficient or advanced on the state benchmark exam by displaying their picture in a creative way on the wall as soon as you enter the school.  Our principal told us this year that our theme would be “Let’s Keep the Torch Burning!”  That sparked the Olympic theme idea to make our Wall of Fame.  We decided to make gold medals for each student and place their picture on each medal.  The gold circles were cut out on a Cricut from gold scrap book paper.  Then we hung the medals on red ribbon in the hallway with the students’ names below their picture.  We originally wanted to hang the medals on red white and blue ribbon, but the store we ordered from wasn’t able to order an additional ribbon.


Then we placed a torch scene on the adjacent bulletin board to finish out the Olympic theme.  The large gold fire “bowl” is  a plastic flower pot spray painted gold that we had cut in half…thanks to one of our teacher’s husbands.  The fire inside of the bowl is held up with a semi circular piece of corrugated cardboard with holes punched in it to hold the white Christmas lights and twisted cellophane.  The torches on the sides are made with gold poster board rolled up and stapled.  Then red, orange, and yellow cellophane are stuffed in the top to mimick fire.


To give the board more pizazz, we included Christmas lights stapled behind the red and yellow cellophane both in the fire “bowl” and on the bottom of the bulletin board.  We set the lights on a glimmer setting so that the flames actually look like they are flickering.  Covering the lights first with red cellophane helps hide the dark green cords.  Then layering with yellow and orange adds a nice fire effect.  Thanks to one of my followers who told me about an Olympic theme that she was incorporating with tiki torches for math fact races.  She said that she used a battery operated candle inside the torches to make them look like they were burning.  This gave me the idea for using Christmas lights.



All of the kids, parents, and staff who walk by exclaim things like….oooooh! cute! pretty!

We know that we have definitely put a spotlight on the kids who worked so hard last year.


Easy But Cute Back to School Bulletin Board

Here is a snapshot of what we worked on putting up last week for open house in our main hallway.  I still feel like it needs a little pizzazz or sparkle, but we got lots of complements on the board all day!  You may not be able to tell from the picture, but we hot glued crayons and pencils into the open pencil box.  There is also a magician’s wand in the backpack with the folders that doesn’t show up very well.  Hence the theme of the board…”Welcome to  a Magical Year.”  That has proven to be a curiosity that stops adult traffic in the hall.  I hope you can use this idea and improve on it.  Post a picture and link to my sight if you do.  I would love to see it.




Cute Bulletin Board with Social Studies and Math Integrated!

Well, I haven’t been behind a computer screen much at all this week because I have been putting my room back together and decorating my door.  I don’t have many bulletin boards to cutesy up, so I take out my cutesyness  on my door.  I thought I would share this idea with you all.  I came up with this idea last year when there was discussion about integrating science and social studies into math and literacy.  I had read the book America by the Numbers: One Nation which made me want to decorate my door with a flag and ask questions about the number of stars, stripes, etc to infuse math. 

The only problem I faced was finding an appropriately sized flag.  To buy a  large one was too much money and too large for my door.  The only other ones I had seen while shopping were too small.  Just my luck last week I was talking to a colleague who didn’t want a large flag covering up her only window.  So, we traded flags because I had an extra one that was smaller from somewhere rolled up in a closet.  Now, what to use for a background?  I was originally going to use some cloud bulletin board paper at available at teacher stores when I stumbled across this adorable sparkly fireworks fabric at Jo-Anne’s.  A little plug for Jo-Anne’s–they offer teacher discounts!  Then I made some white stars for the door with math questions in them to stimulate student thinking.  If you want to use this idea, I made the stars available for free here:  StarsForFlagBulletinBoard.


Cute Winter Door Decoration!

What ever will you decorate your door with when you return to school.  How about a friendly penguin?  I captured this kindergarten teacher’s door with her permission because it was so adorable.  All of the white spots that represent snow are cotton balls in case you can’t tell.  

My Favorite Christmas Door Decoration

Look at this fabulous stocking (in progress) door decoration!  Just in case you can’t tell from the picture, this stocking is completely made from bulletin board paper outlined in heavy black marker.  The fuzzy top is composed of white bulletin board paper cut equidistantly every inch or so to hang over the next row. The paper could most likely be curled to add a more dimensional feel.  See in the picture below.


How Can You Use Your Spare String of Christmas Lights?

You can easily find a string of Christmas lights at this time of year.  One year my mentor gave me the idea to put a string of lights around a bulletin board with this clever title:  See Your Name in Lights.  Post any type of student work and ta-da…a stellar bulletin board.  The great thing about this title is that you can leave the bulletin board up after Christmas since it doesn’t actually refer to the season or to a holiday.  It always makes me sad to put so much work into a bulletin board for Christmas, and then the holiday is over since we are only in school about two weeks out of December.  At this particular school we didn’t have any actual bulletin boards, so this isn’t as artsy as one I have made in the past.  We had to staple/push pin things into the drywall (shhh don’t tell), and the drywall doesn’t hold much.  For example, you could staple little sunglasses into the wall to resemble Hollywood stars and use metallic silver border to make the lights reflect like a real sign.


Another Festive Winter Christmas Door!

My colleague is still creating envy among the ranks and giving himself more to do.  Here is yet another fabulous Christmas or winter door.  The paper is a little wrinkly at the top but he still created a very handsome little snowman :).  Sorry, I know the picture isn’t the best quality.



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