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Using Interactive Bulletin Boards in the Classroom

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Learn several ways you can use interactive bulletin or white boards in your classroom. Every student teacher’s dream is to have his/her own classroom and spend hours…days…weeks during the summer setting it up.  Desk arrangements, putting names on almost EVERYTHING, and making those cute bulletin boards sound like a blast!  The day before the students enter, the room is perfect, spotless, silent.  Then……they come.

This was me right out of student teaching 5 years ago.  I thought everything in my room needed to look perfect and attractive.  I slowly learned that I needed every inch of space available to foster learning.  Now, those adorable bulletin board packages from all the teacher supply stores brightened up my room, but I noticed a few things.  Most of the time, the text was too small for the students to see.  They also took up a lot of space on the walls.  Most importantly, the students rarely used them.
I slowly learned that I needed to take charge and get my students engaged in and interacting with these displays, but my bulletin board space was up on a wall with lower cabinets, so students weren’t able to reach them.   While I still used these bulletin boards to display student work, I decided I needed to find another way for students to actually interact with them.  I decided to use blank walls, unused portions of white boards, and a closet door (turned into a white board with white board adhesive) to create more space for my students to write and post information.
The following three examples are from the year I taught fifth grade.  My students loved these  boards and were always referring and adding to them.  The best part was that they were easy to change out when we moved on to new units.

This board was actually next to my desk and because I lacked bulletin or white board space, was posters were taped to the wall.  I included some posters about the Civil War with the Essential Understanding questions above them.  We referred to these Essential Understandings throughout the unit and related each lesson to one of them.  This board stayed up for the whole unit.  Students would constantly take yellow post-its with questions they had and put it on the left side of the wall.  I would try my best to find the answers to these questions and covered them in upcoming lessons.  The students also used blue post-its to record information they learned and found interesting.

 Have extra space in your classroom? Read about a few ways you can turn them into interactive bulletin boards.


This next picture is of a closet I converted to a white board…because again….no useable space.   The white board is actually from Really Good Stuff and came in a large roll with an adhesive back.  It was actually really easy to put up and I was surprised that it didn’t leave me with any bubbles underneath.  With this board, I used it as a review to reinforce the equation for finding the size of interior angles in regular polygons.  After learning how and why this formula works, I created this chart on my closet.  I started off by writing down the names of polygons  and number of sides they had.  Every day I would add a couple more.  When students finished something up early, they were allowed to go over and fill in the rest of the information for a polygon.  I continued doing this throughout the year with various other math problems or brain busters.

Have extra space in your classroom? Read about a few ways you can turn them into interactive bulletin boards.

The last example I have for you goes back to the Civil War.  During the unit, I dedicated half of my main white board to this word wall.  As we heard a significant word that related to the Civil War, students wrote it down under the corresponding letter.  At the end of the unit, I had the students create ABCs of the Civil War books.  They were able to reference this board to help them.  On each page, they were required to write the word, describe why it is significant, and draw a picture. 

Have extra space in your classroom? Read about a few ways you can turn them into interactive bulletin boards.

 

Well, you can clearly see that my room was probably not the most attractive that year because when you walked in, you saw messy student handwriting in various colors.  Although it makes me feel better when everything is neatly written or printed on the computer,  I definitely feel the value of students creating their own bulletin boards and I am proud at how my fifth graders took responsibility of their own learning.

Do you use interactive boards in your classroom?  What have you found to be successful?

Melissa Mazur

Melissa Mazur

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!

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learning lab resources- about

Oh hey there!

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!  

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