Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bulletin Boards - Part 1

In case you don't read @approx_normal's blog, one of her posts last week was about secondary classroom decor. One of her frustrations was how difficult it had been to find pictures and examples of how to set up a classroom. In addition to her blog post, I had been scouring pinterest for classroom ideas - which lead to serious "I want to be an elementary teacher" envy! I mean, seriously, when I look at the elementary teacher blogs and their organization and their creativity, it makes me just want to go buy a Cricut machine and color coordinate my world! But, before I rushed out and purchased tons of cool stuff from Hobby Lobby, my practical side kicked in and I decided instead to redo my bulletin boards :)

Some background...
Last summer, I moved into a new building which meant a lot of packing (and unpacking) and 3 new bulletin boards to decorate. For some reason, my school doesn't do the traditional cork bulletin boards, we have these bizarre gray things:

In my previous classroom, I had this cute blue fabric with ladybugs and daisies, which I really liked, but I decided I needed something more classy and mature for the new building. So off to the fabric store(s) I went... it took me hours to find the perfect fabric! I love chocolate brown and blue together and I loved this fabric. Of course, that fabric then led to hours and hours of searching for the right color of border... who knew how difficult it was to match blues!?!?!

So I lived with my beautiful brown and blue fabric for a year and while I really did love the pattern, I also had some ideas of how to use my bulletin boards this year and I did NOT want to go through the whole color-match issue again! I mean, seriously, the ONLY border I could find was the old-school bordette stuff! So, back to the fabric store(s)... but this time I was smarter and shopped online first! I found the perfect fabric at Hobby Lobby and it was 30% off! Woot!!! I mean, just check out this color combo....

LOVE IT!!! The black and white background with neon accents.... beautiful!! Of course, that meant I HAD to go to school to try it out!

Isn't it ppuuuuurrrrddddyyyy? :) I just LOVE it! The hanging file on the right is where I put make up work. Each hour is color coded and that color also is the color for their turn in basket and their files/folders. Whenever a student is absent, they know to check that folder for any handouts. The clipboard is where I place the sign out sheets for the hall pass so I can have a record of who leaves my room. Obviously if they are going to a different building or the nurse's office, then I write a traditional pass, but this hall pass is for the little trips like to fill up their water bottle, etc. At first I wasn't sure about the white trim, but it's really growing on me. I mean, check out the view from my desk:

You'll notice that the two other boards aren't done yet and you'll also notice the mess of colors on the student desks in front of my desk. That's part of what is going on the other two boards. One of them will be for AP Stat and the other for Algebra 2. After cruising the font websites the other night, I found the perfect bulletin board font, so I installed the font, ran my titles off onto purple cardstock, laminated and cut it out. Let's just hope and pray that no student asks me what font I used! (See the link above for the font name if you're unsure why that's a problem)

Tomorrow I hope to finish up the Algebra 2 board by adapting Mathy McMatherson's Wall of Remediation. I purchased neon library card pockets to post on the boards to put my Learning Target cards in. Since I laminated the card pockets, I can write on the pocket with the current Learning Targets and cycle out the old and put in the new LTs. I'm not sure what to do yet with the AP Stat board, but I'll figure it out soon enough :)


Anonymous said...

It shhhhooooorrrreee is purrrdy! I really like the pop of color against the black! And the pattern is very geometric also. I like the remediation wall from mcmatherson & your target cards - need to get to work on those. may pick pick your brain on those after reading some more. The font name was a little too much for me :0 but will look great - I think I'd rename it sleepyhead.:) Can't wait to see the other two finished boards!

miss.calcul8 said...

I was wondering where you bought the hanging file and the neon library card pockets?

For my bulletin boards, I use colored paper (the elementary has giant rolls in bright colors) and duck tape for the borders. Especially now that you can find it in all kinds of designs at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, and the Dollar Tree. Then when I'm done I can just tear it all down and throw it away.

druin said...

@Pam - Thank you! :) I agree w/ the font name! I was like "wowzers!! who would name a font that?!?!?"

@Miss8 - I've had the hanging file for years, it probably came from Mardel if I had to guess. The card pockets I picked up at Dollar Tree last weekend. I use fabric on my boards because it can last for years and years without fading. There is still fabric in my classroom from 12 years ago that I put up :)

Hedge said...


And I have to agree on the fabric - SO much easier to deal with than paper. I wish someone had pointed me in that direction years ago. It looks better, hides the staples and pin holes that come from a years worth of putting stuff up. Plus, it's ONE less thing I have to worry about the week we start back.

I'm stealing the card pockets idea, by the way.

Math-termind said...

When I first started teaching I thought that it would be fun to change the bulletin board for every season/holiday. I think it took about two years for me to decide that making use of the space was a better idea than just using them for decorations. It was also about that time that I began using fabric as a background. It is an inexpensive alternative to paper that lasts for many years.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know what your Wall of Remediation looks like! I'm changing classrooms this next year so I have a chance to reinvent it's image - would love to see what others do with the idea!

Amy Gruen said...

Envious of elementary teachers? I am envious of you right now. I just changed rooms and I have nothing on the walls yet. I feel like such a slacker. :)

KFouss said...

I was reading your post and taking notes. :)

Love the fabric on your bulletin board! I don't have a bulletin board (whiteboards in the front of the room, chalkboard on the side) but I might be able to attach some fabric to the chalkboard (which I basically use as a bulletin board) to make it prettier.

Those are some funky student chairs you have! Are they comfy?

I love Dafont.com! I just got a new computer for school this year so I'll have to download some new ones. Will definitely add yours to my list. (The Angry Birds font is fun, too, esp when doing parabolas in Alg2/Alg1!)

I think I'm done now. :)


druin said...

@Approx_normal - Steal away :) I love fabric on the boards, it's so much easier than paper and with paper, I always had to overlap it - UGH!

@Mathy - I'm curious to know what it will look like too! I got them all cut out, but did not finish assembling... that's a task for another day :)

@Amy - Usually I'm not in school mode yet, but no snow days meant we got out a week earlier plus soe weird stuff going on in April/May had me in teaching limbo, so it wasn't until June that I even could THINK about next year!

@Fouss - Is your chalkboard magnetic? Another option would be to laminate some fun wrapping paper or scrapbook paper instead of fabric for a background :)

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) said...

Thanks for all the bulletin board advice. I've got about 16 feet of bulletin boards in my new classroom that need to be covered. I absolutely love the fabric you chose!