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July 16, 2010

Tips for Creating Interactive Bulletin Boards

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Category: Bulletin Boards
X How to Create Interactive Bulletin Boards

How to Create Interactive Bulletin Boards

There are many reasons why creating an interactive bulletin board is a great option for the classroom. In addition to making good use of available wall space, it also provides colorful decoration and ever-present skill reinforcement. Interactive bulletin boards give your students a chance to stand up, sit down and move around based on the bulletin board’s featured activities. The next time you are creating a bulletin board, use some of the tips and tricks below to make it a fun and interactive learning experience for your students.

How to Make Interactive Bulletin Boards

Put It At Eye Level

An interactive bulletin board does students no good if they cannot reach it. When planning such a board, make sure that it is at their eye level and easily accessible for young hands. Since most bulletin board frames are at an adult’s eye level, you may need to paper the area below the normal bulletin board section to make it work.

Add Color

Visual interest is the key to keeping children engaged in interactive bulletin boards. Plain, boring boards with little color or visual appeal will not hold students’ interest.  Even if the topic being covered is interesting, students will quickly become bored and uninterested. Take the time to add coordinated colors and visual appeal to your bulletin board presentation.

Make It Durable

If students will be manipulating items on the bulletin board itself (i.e. – matching pictures of their classmates to hobbies they enjoy), make sure that the material you use is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of handling. Laminate materials that students will be touching and use the strongest Velcro or adhesive that you have available. By creating the bulletin board with sturdy materials at the beginning, you will save yourself time having to repair it over the course of the its’ display.

Provide Clear Directions

Interactive bulletin boards should have clear, concise directions that are easy for your students to read and understand. If some of your students need extra help with reading, consider recording the directions and allowing students to play them back as needed. Ideally, an interactive bulletin board will be an independent work station for students, so take their ability levels into consideration when planning activities and interaction requirements.

 

What do you take into consideration when planning bulletin boards for your classroom?

Are the majority of your bulletin boards interactive or just display?

Leave a comment and let us know!

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  • Iris Johnson
    September 4, 2011

    The requirement at my school is that 100% of teachers’ bulletin boards in th hallways be interactive. This is a thoughtful procedure for both the teachers designing each board as well as the student who finds an odd moment to “think” through the question or problem posed and match up the correct answer. Further, each month is assigned a theme based on the academic needs of the student body. The first month of school’s theme was “Problem Solving” and the second month relates to History and Economics.

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  • vivian
    August 21, 2011

    ooooh, I love Cheryl’s idea on matching names with pictures. Not only will it reinforce learning names but also letter recognition!

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  • Kerri Reed
    August 12, 2011

    Lora,

    I like your idea of the smaller bulletin board that the students can take to their seats. It also makes it easier to change if it is smaller. Thanks for the great idea.

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  • Dana
    July 28, 2010

    I have never used an interactive bulletin board but this is the second site that I have seen this on. Between this blog and Beth Newingham’s blog at scholastic.com I have some ideas. I have three bulletin boards. One will be a LA one and one is my AR. But my third will be an interactive.

    I plan on doing Peer Book Recommendations and then eventually doing book awards. Where kids nominate books and then in 6 weeks read what they can so they can vote!

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  • Christine
    July 18, 2010

    I am changing grade levels this year…from 5th grade to 2nd. I am excited about changing my classroom to be more primary student friendly. One thing that I took from this blog is to make sure that my interactive bulletin boards are eye level so I think I am going to try to put up cork board under one of my regular bulletin boards. This will make the board longer instead of taller. I would also like to use this space as a center for my Literacy Work Stations, maybe a working with words area. Thank you for the thoughts in the blog!

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  • Maureen
    July 18, 2010

    My classroom’s bulletin boards are too high for my shorter first graders. But I have used my magnetic chalkboards or other magnetic surfaces in my classroom. You just use magnetic tape instead of velcro.

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  • valeri
    July 18, 2010

    lori christoffersen

    I teach preschool as well. and i love that idea. I still have weeks till school starts but my brain is moving like crazy thinking about the board and all the materials I need to get together to be able to do this for different lessons. I love it.

    valeri

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  • Dale Abraham
    July 18, 2010

    Thanks to those who said to use small individual sized bulletin boards!!! …great idea for saving space!

    I have been teaching for 31yrs. and always use fabric….cheap knit can often been found on the “bargin” tables at the fabric store. I also usually always use solid colors that will get me throuh most of…if not all of..the year. Burlap is also a great fabric to use because it gives a bit of texture to your display as well. I’m moving to a new room this year and just bought white burlap for all of my bull.boards except the one by my desk. I put a colorful one on that board since it gets filled with all of the papers and reminders I have to be sure not to forget!

    I’ve also stopped making my bull.boards holiday related and have linked them to reading or math for the most part. I use double sided holiday images that I can hang around the room from the ceiling and can change them out quickly and easily.

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  • Jeannette Erickson
    July 17, 2010

    I think a portable bulletin board is a great idea. The bulletin board that is the most interactive in my room is my attendance/lunch count/daily chore list. It’s not so “center” focused as it is administratively focused, but very useful. We use the data from the attendance and lunch count for math activities.

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  • Catherine
    July 17, 2010

    I have one fairly large bulletin board that I use as my Reading interactive board. I have a laminated chart with the students names listed where they can check off the number of books they have read with a Vis-a-Vis pen. In order for the book to count on the chart, they have to fill out “Hooked on Books” bookmark summary from RGS, turn it in for me to assess, and then if returned to them with a check plus, they can hang it on the board for their peers to read. The board starts with nothing but the chart and the materials. It grows as we progress through the year. The students continue to use and read the bookmark reviews when they need suggestions on what to read. We have a state standard that requires 5th grade students to read 25 books (with 150 pages counting as 1 book) during the school year. For the materials, see RGS: http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/product/hooked+on+books+kit.do

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  • lori christoffersen
    July 17, 2010

    Space is at a premium in my preschool classroom so rather than interactive bulletin boards, I use a portable,folding flannelboard. We can take it out when we want to explore it, and then tuck it away to make room for another project. Pieces that adhere to a flannelboard are child-safe and durable so the children “play” independently. The board is modeled and set up during Circle Time; free choice time it’s up for grabs. The children love manipulating the pieces and “teaching” each other the lesson, or sometimes they devise their very own lesson. Fantastic !

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  • Kelley
    July 17, 2010

    In my 10 years of teaching, I’ve never done an interactive bulletin board. I’ve just added it to my To Do list. I’ll have to keep it in mind when setting up my classroom for September so that I leave access to the bulletin board that is low enough for students to reach. I love Susan’s idea about using fabric as a background. My grade partner did that last year and it worked beautifully. Her fabric is still in great shape and she can us it again. Check the clearance section at the fabric store!

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  • Christine Hagerman-Holm
    July 17, 2010

    Great ideas. I like the idea of making a “portable” bulletin board. by simply using a peg board (you could even do little cork boards put together on a stronger surface–or little individual cork boards). I teach special ed, so my students usually are doing matching colors, shapes, numbers etc. I do them now on flannel boards, but putting it to a bulletin board would be pretty simple!

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  • Jennifer Berdion
    July 17, 2010

    I like to use binder clips on my bulletin boards so the students can take down the pictures or information cards and look at them when they need them. The binder clips are great if you have cinder block walls because you can hot glue them and they pop off easy if you have to move them later.

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  • Jahna
    July 17, 2010

    I have 1 interactive bulletin board that can be used all year and I love it because I never have to change it out. It is a display of the 6 traits of writing which is placed above a literacy station where they are assigned a writing assignment and can refer back to those 6 traits to make sure they are including all the traits into their writing assignments. Other than that, most of my bulletin board space is used up for multiplication madness where they can track their progress on how they are doing in multiplication, behavior management flip charts , and morning meeting flip charts in which we use to meet together first thing in the morning to discuss what day it is, the weather for that day, and to tally how many days we have been in school and how many we have left.

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  • Abby
    July 17, 2010

    I have done interactive boards in the past, but now all of my bulletin boards are out of the kids’ reach!

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  • Debbie R
    July 17, 2010

    Loved the ideas! I am looking at making my boards more interactive this year…thanks for sharing 🙂

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  • Chris
    July 17, 2010

    The only interactive bulletin board I have is my daily calendar. This year I’d like to add an interactive word wall!

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  • Erika R.
    July 17, 2010

    Last year, I made our daily meeting board an interactive bb. During centers, the students would manipulate straws for place value, coins for money, write a new pattern and skip couting pattern with dry erase markers, and update the calendar and weather. They would record their answers on their own sheet for me to check. Then, they would get the board ready for the next group.

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  • Cheryl Witt
    July 17, 2010

    I would love to do this kind of board – I just don’t have a board that is suitable for it. 🙁

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  • Kerri
    July 17, 2010

    I would love ideas for an upper elementary interactive bulletin board. I teach gifted 4th grade and think this would be perfect for them. Does anyone have any other links they can suggest to me? Thanks in advance.

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  • Bobbie
    July 17, 2010

    Thanks for the tips! I am glad you included ideas on where to place them. I know that my regular ones are very high. I have little wall space, so I will see what I can do. I really like the idea of an interactive bb.

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  • Penny
    July 17, 2010

    Wish I had walls to put anything on! One wall cubbies, one bathroom/sink/, one windows, one cabinets. I use the cabinets as much as possible but difficult to put much due to size.

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  • Casey
    July 17, 2010

    I love the idea of interactive boards. This is a great way for students to be independent or work in small groups. I have boards that work both ways. If it is small group everyone has a role.

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  • Melissa
    July 17, 2010

    Interactive bullentin boards are easy to do. The first one is probably the hardest but if you do as the article suggested and laminate, things will be easier the next time. I would also suggest taking a picture to put with you bullentin board material or with your subject file the board falls under. It will help jog your memory! Another blogger suggested fabric for the background. I’ve always done this using burlap. Fall is the time of year you can usually get burlap in bright colors and it doesn’t show the holes!

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  • Amy C
    July 17, 2010

    I like to use my interactive bulletin board for writer’s workshop. I put up a piece of border, Construction Zone – Kid’s Working,and label intervals with the steps of the writer’s process, such as Brainstorming, Rough Draft, Revision, Publish, etc. Then each student gets a clothespin with their name on it and they move the clothespin to the space on the line where they are in their writing, so when I am doing conferences I know what the students are working on around the room and know who to pull to my table. Also, I put small o-rings with a pin for each student on the same wall and each student can publish their work by placing it on the o-ring for the whole class to share. Students also may put spelling tests or other work they have done well on to display on the wall!

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  • sofia D
    July 17, 2010

    The most interactive I get is have the student chose what they would like to make for the bulletin board (for first I make a rubric for oral language standard) and they enjoy doing a project at home to put up for display. Each month we have a new theme.

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  • Allyson M
    July 16, 2010

    I teach in a school without walls so we have really limited B-board space 🙁 Most of the wall space I have is used for calendar, job chart, etc – stuff you absolutely NEED on the walls.

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  • Tonya Coats
    July 16, 2010

    I would love to more interactive bulletins boards. But there are a few issues at my school state standards, the fire marshall, and space. If anyone has any ideas that will address these set backs please post.

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  • Susan
    July 16, 2010

    Whether you make your bulletin boards interactive or not, the best kind of background is fabric. The are no seams, it doesn’t fade, and it can be stretched tightly given enough tacks or staples…but mostly it just looks great! It can be very inexpensive with the initial investment lasting for many years. Choosing bright colors and small patterns can make your presentation “pop” right out and grab the attention of everyone. Also there are many fabrics that work great for theme based bulletin boards such as spiders, water, space, even plaids that look like tablecloths and on and on!

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  • Lora
    July 16, 2010

    It seems like I never have enough room to make an interactive one with the other bulletin boards I need to have–jobs, Accelerated Reader, Centers. I brought a smaller bulletin board from home and can change it every few weeks into an interactive one based on what we are learning. This small one can be taken to the students’ desks so it makes it more convenient for me.

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  • Cindy Berenter
    July 16, 2010

    I’ve never really done interactive bulletin boards; primarily because I wasn’t sure how to. Thanks, RGS for the suggestions! I especially liked that you included considerations for where to put them, since truly most of the framed bulletin boards are higher and therefore impossible for one of my little 2nd graders to reach. Mine have always been showcasing their work or a project, but never interactive and rarely at their eye level. Thanks for the ideas!

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  • Alison Kitchin
    July 16, 2010

    Id love to make some interactive bb, but I dont know where to put them. Im in a tiny classroom with limited space…

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  • janine
    July 16, 2010

    I also do not always think of interactive bulletin boards. I seems something I have moved away from, but need to look at again for next year. Thanks for the reminder and tips.

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  • Barb J
    July 16, 2010

    Most of my boards end up being for display, but I have done some interactive boards. I love to laminate the things the kids will use on the boar for it to last longer. I actually laminate everything that goes up that I can reuse again, so that next year, I can just pull out what I need! It’s a definite time and money saver.

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  • Cara F
    July 16, 2010

    I’ve done both. Interactive ones are great & provide another learning center for students. I’ve purchased material to use as the background on some BB–durable, easy to store and cute!

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  • Heather
    July 16, 2010

    I am in the same situation as Cheryl. I used them when I did my student teaching but haven’t used one since I started teaching. I think as a student teacher you are not as aware of the pressures of standardized tests, standards, etc…. and are able to focus more on the fun things like interactive bulletin boards.

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  • Cheryl s
    July 16, 2010

    I never think of interactive bulletin boards. Great idea, I used to make them when I student taught. I think I may make one with student names and their pictures and maybe one with letter matching. I will do that on the back of furniture!! Thanks for the reminder about creating those.

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