Classroom Decorations/Bulletin Boards

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by MathTeach24, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. MathTeach24

    MathTeach24 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2009

    Last year I taught eighth grade and did not have a bulletin board. This year I will be teaching chemistry, geometry, and physics. My classroom has the lab in it so I have 3 bulletin boards this year. I don't know what to put on them. Anyone have any ideas or pictures? What do you do in your classrooms?
     
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  3. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2009

    My last science project of the year usually consists of creating informative posters on the topic of choice (in physics). I put those on my bulletin board to start the year.

    Next year I am dedicating one portion of my board to a weekly calendar. I am also collecting science related news articles to put up, since my freshmen will have to do science current events.
     
  4. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Maybe the scientific method or some safety type posters on one.

    Maybe display some great student work on another.

    Highlight some upcoming concept or science in the news on the other--like a how science (chemistry, geopmetry, physics) affects our lives.
     
  5. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jun 25, 2009

    I actually had access to a book last year called "Science Bulletin Boards" or something like that. It was full of science themed bulletin boards. Even though they were geared toward intermediate school kiddos, it would at least get you started!
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2009

    I use one bulletin board for school announcements and such. That's such a big deal in high school... knowing exam schedules, football schedules, meeting dates, etc.

    If you have the space, I think a science current events board would be a great idea. You can still decorate with those typically elementary items that they sell in teacher supply stores. Nothing wrong with that.

    I have a bulletin board that I call "Express Yourself". They are responsible for filling up the board with school appropriate things like art work, poetry, pictures, news articles... anything they find interesting and want to share. (I have a passion for pandas, and without fail each year kids start drawing me panda pictures, writing me panda poetry, etc. It's hilarious. I post them all.)
     
  7. 88tuner

    88tuner Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Web Page

    I used a bulletin board for years and then I switched over to a web page. I know that sounds like a simple idea but when you think about it, a web page is basically the same thing.

    I have nearly 1000 unique visitors a month and 83000+ in the last 7 years. That's more views than a classroom bulletin board will ever get. My kids visit it often. My opinion is that the best thing you can post on your classroom bulletin board is your web address.

    You can even move the web page idea into the classroom on your updated bulletin board. I have a 50'' plasma in my HS band room and a 100'' screen in the MS band room. We use video and images from the page for announcements and motivation items. That's another great replacement for the old bulletin board.

    When I started the web page, I kicked it off with a web page search contest. I hid a link that students were told to find, with false leads all over the page. We offered a king sized candy bar for the first email from a student with the winning link. We had 10,000 hits that week before a student won. You'll need lots of content to make this work well. After the contest, the kids knew the page well and visited often.

    To generate interest in the page these days, we have a band blog where we post lots of video. You can search Bolivar Band Missouri to find the page. If you scroll down the menu bar on the left of my page and click on the "Don't Click Here" thing, you get one of the false leads.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I have a calendar bulletin board with all important dates. I also have a word wall --I teach 3 subjects so I assign each subject a different color. My other bulletin board is going to be a focus board. I am not sure how I am going to do this yet so any and all ideas are welcome. I try to have the decorations in my classroom teachable items. In betweem the teachable items, I use frogs to decorate. I collect frogs and even though it is a high school classroom. I am the one that spends 8-9 hours a day in that classroom so I put up what I like.
     
  9. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I used 1 bulletin board for all of the school/club announcements that go out. One bulletin board for our football punctuation game; the last for student work/drawings and letters they give me. Classroom theme is sports/goals.
     
  10. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 1, 2009

    :eek: Wow. We're going to have to disagree on that one. If I were a student in your classroom, and you didn't care enough to make cool bb displays for me, I'd think you didn't really care about teaching. I'd think those things in my dreams as I fell asleep in the back of your classroom. zzzz wake me up when she has an exciting bb... zzz Sounds harsh I know. But I just had this image of a beautiful 4'z6' uncovered green board with a web address tacked to it. "Click here for information." :huh: The secondary kids we have here don't wanna work that hard.

    Another pet peeve of mine is folks that put up a BB --- and then leave it all year. :eek: A good friend of mine was a science teacher and at the end of the year, she had to take down her bb which was the same green paper (with nothing on it - 'cause she never got around to doing it) bordered with "Welcome Back." SERIOUSLY.

    As gen ed secondary teachers with tons of kids filtering through each day, I know you have your hands full. And making cool bb's is probably the last thing on your mind. But for the sakes of your kids, put an effort into it. If you don't like to change them, at least change them over holiday break. It'll change the atmosphere in your room and give those kids a fresh start.

    :soapbox: Sorry.
     
  11. 88tuner

    88tuner Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2009

    I don't have that problem with my kids. They interact with the web page and love the way we incorporate it into the video presentations in the front of the classroom. That changes every day. I guess the static old paper and tape board just doesn't appeal to me when I have all this tech sitting around. It's much easier to update the presentation than it is to sit there and cut out paper letters.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 1, 2009

    Zoom, I like a well decorated classroom, but I don't think secondary students judge whether or not a teacher cares about them based on a BB display. Sure it's nice to be in a decorated environment, but it doesn't really impact someone's teaching ability or their relationship with the kids. I work in a building in which every student has his own laptop, so the web site would be much more useful. That's why my BBs are usually just generic in nature, too.
     
  13. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jul 1, 2009

    I had 4 in my classroom. One had Teacheropoly, another was a large BB and I split it in half and put Our Favorite Words on one half and Our Favorite Quotes on the other. Students could add anything (appropriate) that they wanted. Another just had school stuff - mission statement, our sportsmanship poster and PBS rules, lunch menu, sports schedules, etc. The last one was behind my desk and was for my own use - i would hang up cards, things I needed at a glance like the school calendar, other dept members' schedules, etc.
     
  14. ADAW

    ADAW Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2009

    What is "Teacheropoly"?
     
  15. Groovy

    Groovy Companion

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    Jul 1, 2009

    Does anyone give students the option of doing a bulletin board update for Extra Credit? Is that allowed?
     
  16. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 2, 2009

    Wow, totally different perspective. Maybe it's just my art degree talking, but I'm not only concerned about kids falling asleep - - I'd fall asleep! We're in our rooms so often, it's like our second home. Since we can't dress the place up with throw pillows, pictures, and flowers - I use paper. Don't get me wrong, I love a website just like the next guy (and my website does rock the house :whistle:) but kiddos don't have their laptops open 24/7, do they? Most of the time they're sittin' there in that white-walled room, sighing and watching the clock. I say, give 'em somthing fun to look at! Better yet, let them decorate the room. With secondary students, it's hard to know "what's cool." You could delegate a group of students to decorate the BB each month with a new theme. And have rules like "no gang symbols or nudity." heh
     
  17. 88tuner

    88tuner Rookie

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    You may have missed my point. We take what's happening on the web page and make daily presentations on the video equipment. Basically a 100 inch BB with moving pictures. Different every day, sometimes every hour. I only have each class once a day, unlike an elementary class where they see them all day long. The students look at the screen at the beginning of class while we do attendance. This serves as the announcements and keeps the students attention for a few minutes. After that, it's rehearsal all hour. I'm not saying this is how it should be done in every class. I just offered a view of how this works for me.

     
  18. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    OOOHhh.... Okay, I see what you're sayin'. I thought you were just talkin' about a regular classroom website. Gotcha. :thumb:
     
  19. jessi.lewis

    jessi.lewis Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2009

    Chemteach, can we hear more about how you set up your "word wall"? Sounds interesting! :)
     
  20. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I agree that a well decorated room is fun and inviting (and actually, my room is covered in Simpsons and pandas. :) )

    I just didn't agree with the idea that a BB that isn't decorated means that the teacher doesn't care or that it negatively affects his/her relationship with the students.
     
  21. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 2, 2009

    I have 8 bulletin boards not counting the small one I added. I change the one in the hall about every six weeks - our marking period. This past year every board included a replica of our school mascot - his costume changed depending on the board's theme. Sometimes student work was displayed there, sometimes season themes with student made highlights. I also utilize the hall wall to highlight major projects the kids create. THe big one on the side of my room changes only about 2-3 times a year - usually focuses on the main theme of each semester. For example, I'll have writing oriented posters prior to the state writing exam and literature related ones for the rest of the year. It is usually my welcome back to school board for the first month. I have a retracting wall with 6 panels and four of them change several times through the year depending on what is going on. One is usually a summary wall for the current novel - all handwritten (sometimes by the students) including info such as a summary of each chapter or rising action, etc. Another one usually changes depending on the current unit, one is used as a word wall - any student can add any new word they come across in their reading along with its part of speech/definition. Two - the list of state standards and the character counts one - usually don't change. I have one small one by the door and that contains the various schedules, lunch menu, etc. That changes as needed.

    I like color and change - I have an inside room, no windows, on an inside hall with no natural light nearby. The color helps make my room comfortable for me and I assume for my students. I also sprinkle the walls with various inspirational posters that change as the spirit moves me. Does this help?
     
  22. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I would use the boards to track student data and as a word wall. Students really respond to seeing their successes tracked. I simply gave a student a "user name" or a number and then I would color code their test scores (based on our 5 tiered standardized testing levels). My kids would run to the board on Monday mornings to see if they tested "proficient" or "accelerated" and if a kid tested "basic" or "limited" they were working extra hard in class. Also, I would create bar graphs on excel, and my homerooms would have friendly competition. The kids always wanted to know which class has the most advanced students.

    Word walls are great if they are used properly, especially for science. You need to update the words on a regular basis, based on units or content covered. One thing I found helpful is having a section of "testing vocabulary" for your word wall. Look at released tests from your state and introduce students to the vocabulary that is used on that test. By doing this, I discovered that many of my kids did not know the meaning of the word "disadvantage." I was blown away by that, and finding out that information helped me to better prepare them for state testing and for the next grade.

    Make your boards useful. Don't put up lame posters from the teacher store or things your students will not use. The classrooms feel big, but we need every inch to encourage, assist, and display student learning.
     
  23. MathTeach24

    MathTeach24 Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2009

    Thanks for all of the ideas. I plan on using a word wall and one of my bulletin boards for school news/information. I was hoping someone had some specific topics that they post in their chemistry, physics, or geometry classrooms.
     
  24. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I teach physics--both regular and honors and honors physical science. I only have 1 true bulletin board in my classroom. That is where I post my calendar and anything else that needs to be posted. The walls are then made into other boards. I make a word wall. I put up the words in ABC order for each section. These are the words that they need to know and will be on the wall when they take their test but I will not define during a test. I put the words in a different color for each group so they can easily pick out the words they need. I am going to make a "focus" board for each group. I am still trying to decide exactly how I am going to do this. If you google "focus board", you will get many examples. They are elementary but you can adapt it to high school. I am going to put up copies of any charts, etc. that the class will need to refer to. I am also planning on putting up the section learning objectives and essential questions. For instance--my first unit in regular physics is an introductory lesson. On my focus board, I will have all the learning objectives for the section and the essential question. I will also have a metric ladder, english to metric conversion factors, an poster with an example of a factor label problem, a poster that is on scientific notation, a drawing of a right triangle with the sides labeled and anything else I find that could be a reference for my students. I got several math and physics posters off of ebay at the end of the school year. I will have some random posters up for the whole year that all classes will use as reference like the lab report, scientific method, and lab safety posters. In addition to that, I collect and decorate around the room with frogs. All of the science department decorates our rooms with lots of things because most of the rest of the school is pretty plain classrooms. We also only have 1 tiny window in our classrooms so it makes the 3 large white walls less boring.
     
  25. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

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    Jul 21, 2009

    My bulletin boards get fresh (fadeless) paper and new borders in August and stay put until June.
    1) US map - use with current events; kid travels
    2) Birthday Board
    3) Notes: lunch menu; upcoming events, etc.
    4) Word/Vocabulary Wall
    5) The largest board will be blank when kids arrive. As anchor charts are created, the board will fill in.

    Note: Do you redecorate you kid's bedrooms monthly?

    I have holiday window clings and will stick a shamrock or a heart on a board but wouldn't think of completely redoing during the year.
     
  26. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Can you tell me about your football punctuation game?
     
  27. school_o_fish

    school_o_fish Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2010

    I may borrow some of these ideas. I will be teaching chemistry in Jan. and the classroom is very dark, dreary, and is not inviting at all. I am hoping to line my bulletin board with royal blue felt (one of our school colors) and add some of these ideas such as charts, diagrams, essential questions, etc.

    I don't have the luxury of decorating with a theme though because I am only allowed to put things on 30% of the wall space and we already have safety posters and a periodic table up that are large and also mandatory.
     

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