How to Design Bulletin Boards for the Classroom

Bulletin boards provide places for teachers to display student work.

Many teachers rely on interactive bulletin boards both as classroom decorations and instructional aids throughout the school year. These easily changeable classroom design pieces allow teachers to create displays that are thematically tied to the lessons at hand. By surrounding students with content material via bulletin boards, teachers can increase student's familiarity with the information and likely lead to better comprehension and retention. Here are some bulletin board ideas for back to school time!

Decide which topic you would like to feature on your classroom bulletin board display as the first step in the planning process. Get strict on a themed bulletin board that suits your classroom decor. Avoid featuring more than one topic on each board as mixing topics may be confusing to your students.

Create the bulletin board borders by covering the surface in construction paper, fabric, whiteboard, or tablecloths. You can even make a corkboard or chalkboard. If you’re using fabric, you can secure this with clothespins. This will be your background color. You can buy these at the dollar store.

Pick eye-catching images to feature on the display. To make your bulletin board attractive to students you must feature things that students want to see yet enforces your classroom ideas and classroom theme. Creative bulletin boards show students how dedicated you are to their learning.

Create a title using pre-cut, hand-cut, cut-out, or printable letters. By titling your bulletin board, you can make the purpose of the board immediately clear to students. Select a catchy title that relates to the contents of your bulletin board. When possible, use alliteration or figurative language in your title to get students' attention.

Gather academic information to feature on the bulletin board. Place examples of student work related to the topic on your board, as well as other media you think will engage your students like pictures, charts, graphs, maps, word wall, or lesson plan. By placing this academic information amongst the engaging features of your bulletin board you can sneak learning in.

Add elements to your interactive boards that require student interaction. For example, place a student poll question in the corner of your board and allow students to respond to the poll on the board surface. As students interact with the bulletin board they will be more likely to take time to view the contents and gain information from the topic covered on the bulletin board.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.