Monday, August 11, 2014

The Purpose Behind Bulletin Boards

Despite the thousands of cutsie bulletin boards floating all over Pinterest, the true purpose behind bulletin boards is not to have the cutest room in the school.  The true purpose behind bulletin boards – as I see it – is to increase the learning opportunities for our students. Decorations for the sake of decorations do not help learning and often provide a distraction to students with ADD or other disabilities.

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.

Bulletin boards:

1.  Should provide students with information that they can reference during lessons or centers.  Bulletin boards should be a part of the learning experience, not a decoration.

2.  Should be built with the students OR have an element that the students can interact with.  Either of these opportunities allow students to feel ownership for the board and encourages them to use the board rather than just be distracted by it.

3.  Don’t have to be changed every week or month.  Bulletin boards can be built slowly over the course of the school year, helping students to connect new knowledge to knowledge gained earlier in the school year.

 

Just because bulletin boards aren’t decorations, doesn’t mean they can’t be visually attractive.  In fact, good graphic design elements make bulletin boards easier for children to read and thereby more access to the information on them.  Here are a few examples of meaningful bulletin boards for your classroom:

 

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.  Word Family word wall, with graphics to help out ESL students.

Word Family Word Wall – These Alphabet Labels, Sight Word Cards and Word Family Word Wall Cards help your students to sound out and recognize the meanings of common words.  Students refer back to this word wall during literacy centers, like read the room and journal writing.

 

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.  Math Word Wall with definitions and graphics to help students understand key math vocabulary.

Math Word Wall – Math Word Walls should do more than simply list the important vocabulary words.  Definition cards, like those in my Math Vocabulary Packets (Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication & Division, Fractions, Geometry 1 and Geometry 2) give students the definition to refer to when they are stumped by those vocabulary words at math centers or independent problem solving

 

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.  After students answer the questions in their Problem Solving Path math journals, they can check their answers using the QR codes on these posters.

Problem Solving Path – This interactive bulletin board displays the monthly word problems from the Problem Solving Path Journals, as well as giving students QR Codes to help them check their answers.

 

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.  Build concept maps with key vocabulary, like the defintions of technology vocabulary.

Technology Word Wall – Word walls don’t have to be listed in alphabetical order.  For topics like technology, it’s better to group Vocabulary Word Wall Cards into connected words or concepts.  Add connecting words or ideas to help students make those connections when they are using the word wall later.

 

Bulletin boards should be educational, not decoration.  Stop by Raki's Rad Resources for ideas on how to make your bulletin boards more educational.  Use bulletin boards to create pictographs with data on student achievement - like success on mastering math facts.

Math Fact Reward Board – Students can track their own progress on math fact quizzes, and stay motivated to practice during math centers by having a math fact reward board with a fast fact reward system.

 

How do you keep your bulletin boards meaningful?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources