Showing posts with label class displays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label class displays. Show all posts

Classroom Decor: Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards for the secondary classroom

One way to brighten up your classroom and make it appealing for students is through bulletin boards or white-board displays. We secondary teachers often slack in this area--myself included. For several years I had the same exact board up. When I finally took it down I couldn't believe how faded and dingy the backing was. When I started to give my boards more attention, I could tell students appreciated the effort and I took more pride in what I accomplished. 

Here are some examples that I've used throughout the years that range from super-duper easy to relatively or moderately easy. ;)

BOOK SELFIES bulletin board

Level: Easy

Materials Needed: Download my FREE Book Selfies activity, paper, & printer.

Why I love this display: I can keep the book selfies up year after year and students never tire of looking at them (especially if they have older siblings!). It's also a great way to show that the act of reading for pleasure is universal and isn't just for so-called nerds. And any time you can feature students (and teachers) interacting with books, it's good.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

"SUMMER READS" bulletin board

Level: Moderately easy depending on your cutting skills. ;)

Materials needed: Colored paper and bulletin board background (I just kept my black background paper up, but ideally blue would have been a much easier color!), images of book titles, images of sunglasses, toothpicks (for the beach umbrellas), scissors, and post-it notes. 

Why I love this display: I liked to give my students book recommendations and show them that reading is a life-long activity. I happened to read a lot of books that summer (this isn't a normal amount for me--I usually read 5-7 books max). But what I love is that I showed them that it's also great to RE-READ your favorite books.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom
I used the toothpicks and Post-It notes to create little mini umbrellas. I also used the Post-Its to write mini reviews or recommendations for the books. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom
I let my students know it's OK to be disappointed in a book. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

CURRENTLY... classroom display

Level: Super-duper easy (in fact, a bulletin board is not even required)

Materials needed: Download my FREE "Currently..." activity, paper, printer, tape, and students to fill them out.

Why I love this display: Besides it being super easy, it's a GREAT way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year, it's perfect for introverts who don't want to share aloud, students learn things they didn't know about their fellow classmates, and it's another great way to share book recommendations!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom
These "Currently" posts have prompts asking students what they are currently: reading planning, wanting, needing, wishing, thinking, and loving. The template also includes a blank page where you can come up with your own prompts for your students.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

(THIS or THAT) interactive bulletin boards

Level: Super easy

Materials needed: Check out the bundle of all of them to pick & choose or grab them all; paper, & printer.

Why I love this display: These bulletin boards allow students to interact with them, lifting the flaps to see if they were right in guessing the answer. They are always amazed that the lines from poems aren't song lyrics. It makes them want to look up those poems and read more. I have an activity in the bundle that allows students to create their own and that forces them to read A LOT of poems looking for quotes. They have fun with it and don't even realize all the reading and learning that is taking place. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

MEMES! bulletin board or classroom display

Level: Super easy

Materials needed: You can get my pre-made memes (with editable options so you can customize them) or create your own using an online meme generator; printer & paper.

Why I love this display: Students love memes and humor is always fun to bring into the classroom. The memes get the point across to students in ways that simply listing your rules don't. Students will often ignore rules written in a poster, but they definitely pay attention to memes!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

BANNED BOOKS interactive bulletin board

Level: Relatively easy

Materials needed: You can download my pre-made banned books display that includes a caution-tape border or create your own; paper & printer.

Why I love this display: Students are blown away by the reasons some books have been challenged and/or banned. It actually makes them want to READ more! Anything that encourages reading is a win in my book.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom


Level: Super-duper easy

Materials needed: Digital camera (or phone with camera), printer, & paper.  

Why I love this display: It's so easy and the students love to see who is in each section/class. It's also great to update it at semester AND the end of the year to see how much they have changed (plus, my sections usually get mixed up at semester, so it's nice to show the new groups). I love to give the students a copy of the pictures when they graduate. We take some silly group pictures along with a regular one and they love looking back at them.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

What are your favorite classroom displays or bulletin boards? 
Comment below!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Say Goodbye to Your Laminator: A Better Way to Preserve Visual Aids in Your Classroom

Use sheet protectors rather than lamination for your visual aids .
I love my laminator. I use it often for making bookmarks and preserving posters for my classroom. But several years ago I decided for my 8.5"x11" visuals, it was better to use plastic sheet protectors. Here are my reasons why:

1. For your classroom visuals, using sheet protectors is more cost-effective.
You can purchase a package of 100 for less than $10 (for economy quality; less than $20/200 for better quality). I'm pretty sure that's cheaper than the laminator film I buy. If you use the thermal pouches, you'll save about $5 per 100, plus you won't have to cut anything.

2. Visuals store easily in a three-ring binder.
Anyone who has tried to store laminated posters in a cupboard knows what a pain it is. They slip off one another and the sizes are always odd. And I can never find the ones I'm looking for. I've tried putting them in large envelopes and labeling them, but then I have to pull them all out to find the one(s) I want to use. In a three-ring binder, I can flip through the pages quickly to find what I'm looking for.

3. Visuals store nicely--without creasing--in a three-ring binder.
Not only are they easier to find in a binder, they are less likely to get damaged. I can't count how many posters I've accidentally bent or creased while storing them. Having them all organized in a binder makes it a cinch for finding what I want and for keeping them like new.

4. Sheet protectors can be reused.
If you decide you don't like or don't want to use a certain visual aid anymore, there's no loss in money. Just slip it out of the sheet protector and put a new one in. Laminating is permanent. If you change your mind on the visual or notice a typo, you can't undo the lamination.

5. Sheet protectors won't ruin your visual aid.
How many times have you had a colorful poster or an example of student work that was ruined because you ran out of laminator film in the middle of it? Or it crinkled up while running through the machine? Or it created air bubbles on the page? I've had all these things happen and more. I've had to apologize to students for ruining their perfect collage or drawing, and wasted so much printer ink reprinting new signs that were destroyed in the laminator. I love the fact that there is absolutely no risk with the sheet protectors.

You can store all your class pictures and visual aids in a three-ring binder.
-Class pictures: I like to take a group picture of each class at the beginning of the year. I also take additional pictures during Homecoming Week (dress-up days), new semester (I always have new classes with shifting schedules and move-ins), and at the end of the year. I used to do old-school scrapbooking with the developed pictures, but with digital I just place them on a fun background then print myself. Each year I have a new crop of pictures to add to my "class pictures" binder, which is so much easier than scrapbooking! My students love looking through the pictures to find their older siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and--in the next few years--their parents.

-Showcase student work: I like to display student work throughout the year. The sheet protectors keep their work protected from things like marker dust on the white board and their classmates writing or drawing on them. Within my individual units, I always keep a few examples of exemplary student work to show future classes. Be sure to ask permission; some students do not want theirs used, or are willing if their name is covered up.

-Visual aids by unit: I have binders of visuals for each novel unit I teach. In addition, I have one for poetry & creative writing, one for short stories, one for all my Shakespeare units (The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet), one for journalism/expository writing, one for persuasive & narrative writing, and one for miscellaneous literature and authors.

Sure, sheet-protectors definitely have some drawbacks: 
-they are limited by their size (8.5" x 11")
-they aren't as thick as lamination
-they could slide out (unless you tape the open end)
-the three-ring tab isn't the prettiest for display
 But even with these cons, I still love to use sheet protectors for most of my classroom displays. 

Do you use sheet protectors or laminate? Or something else? Feel free to comment and post a link. 
Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Orman's Classroom!

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