Beat the bulletin board blues

Thinking about the fall and the start of school may be the last thing on your mind, but the more preparation you do now, the smoother things will go in the fall.

This past year, decorating a bulletin board probably took a back seat to simply surviving your first year of teaching. Be prepared for next year by following some of these tips:

Effective bulletin boards should be:

  •  Simple
  • Attractive
  • Functional
  • Appropriate
  • Changed frequently


    • Use commercial bulletin board books to give you ideas. Visit your nearest teacher store for copies.
    • If you can afford commercial bulletin board materials, use them.
    • Students love to see their work displayed. Use their papers and projects to help design a bulletin board.
    • Use a file box with 3x5 index cards arranged alphabetically. Jot down bulletin board ideas and file them for future use.
    • Taking down and storing bulletin board material can be as challenging as putting it up. Set up a filing system. You can use guidelines like school months or events, holidays and subjects.
    • Store bulletin board letters in plastic shoe boxes.
    • Don't throw sets of letters away. You can use them again for the same bulletin board.
    • Avoid using orange and yellow because these colors tend to overly excite students. Blues, greens and pastels are calming. Pale pink and peach are especially soothing.
    • If you are decorating the top third of the wall for a bulletin board, use it for large letters, murals, borders or pictures.
    • The lower two-thirds of the wall should be used for anything that has small details like student work.