by Rachel Stepp
Classrooms need to be designed with students in mind, and one way to bring student involvement into your room design is by creating an interactive bulletin board. Here are some ideas to take your board from blah to brilliant!
1. Did You Know?
Create a spot where you can post a simple question related to something in your curriculum. Students can then move a clothespin that has their names written on it to a side of a poster where one side represents, “Yes, I knew that!” and the other side states, “No, I did not know that, but I do now!” By doing this, you can pre-assess your students and understand their background knowledge.
2. Challenge Question
Post a question each week that relates to what your students are learning but challenges them to think deeper. You can keep track of this by using a library pocket (available at stores such as The School Box) to hold blank answer sheets and another library pocket to hold students’ answer submissions. At the end of the week, students who answered correctly can win a homework pass or another incentive.
3. Question of the Day
Create a poster that has a spot to place a new question everyday. This question can be secured with a tack or tape. The questions posed can be multiple choice questions about topics that were previously taught. At the bottom of the poster, place three library pockets labeled “A,” “B,” and “C.” Students can answer the question of the day by putting a Popsicle stick with their name on it into the pocket that corresponds with their answer. Students can answer this question as they first come into the classroom or as morning work. This is a great way to review and assess students!
4. Related Work Folders
At the bottom of your bulletin board, you can create file folder pockets (using stapled file folders) for each subject area you teach in your classroom. In these pockets, you can put related worksheets or activity guides for students to complete during their spare time. For example, in the Language Arts file folder pocket, you might place a worksheet about verbs because your students studied verbs the week before. Having worksheets for the students to work on during their own time eliminates off-task behaviors and unproductive down time.
An interactive bulletin board is great for any classroom because once it has been created, it can easily be altered without redoing the entire bulletin board. The questions can be changed for any topic and grade level. If you do not have a spare bulletin board, any one of these ideas can be implemented on a sheet of poster board, as well.
Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at the University of Georgia, currently working on a Masters in Early Childhood Education.