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How to make the most of school bulletin boards

Girl looking at an ad on a bulletin board.

Bulletin boards are a staple in most schools, and for good reason: they can communicate upcoming events, display student work, and reinforce key concepts. They're also a great canvas for boosting student morale. They can be used to highlight student successes, celebrate birthdays, and post words or photos of inspiration that can help brighten your classroom or hallway.

Whether you have bare bulletin boards you want to fill or you're looking to update your current selection, you have options. Let's explore the different types of bulletin boards and how to put our bulletin board ideas to good use. You'll not only enhance your students' learning but also create a more organized and welcoming school environment.

Choose the right style bulletin board for your decorations

When it comes to bulletin boards, cork is a classic choice: it's sturdy, durable and long-lasting. Plus, its self-healing surface means it won't leave any unsightly pin holes behind on the board. However, you're not limited to cork boards alone.

If you're looking for something more contemporary, a frameless fabric board like this Oval Office Fabric Bulletin Board can blend seamlessly into any decor.

If you have sensitive documents that need to be protected, such as test scores or vintage photos—or if you want to install a bulletin board in an outdoor area—investing in an outdoor enclosed bulletin board is a smart idea.

Cork board with black border in office.

You can also avoid using push pins altogether with magnetic bulletin boards. This way, you can display a student's artwork or other delicate items without having to push a hole in them. Magnetic boards are also suitable for classrooms with small children.

Decide on a bulletin board décor function

If you have multiple bulletin boards in your classroom or in the hallways, deciding on a function for each can help improve organization. Instead of using bulletin boards as catch-alls, try designating a single function to each bulletin board, such as:

  • Informative: Important notices, upcoming events, calendars, etc.
  • Educational: Subject-specific documents like the periodic table, the alphabet, fractions, etc.
  • Display: Student projects, artwork, class photots, etc.
  • Decorative: Seasonal or holiday decor, inspiring quotes, motivational imagery, etc.
  • Interactive: Educational games, puzzles, student-generated sticky notes, etc.

That makes it much easier for students to find the information they're looking for. Affixing a label to each bulletin board with a sign like "Notices" or "Student Artwork" can further reinforce the organization and flow of the boards.

Young female student posting a note on a cork board.

Get creative with your bulletin board decorations

Since bulletin boards are incredibly easy to update and customize, the creative possibilities are endless. Why not get students involved in the process? A few ideas include:

  • Class list: Using craft supplies, students design their own name cards and post them on the board.
  • Gratitude board: Students write what they are grateful for on sticky notes and post them on the bulletin board.
  • Baby pictures: Students bring in baby pictures and other students guess who's who.
  • Trivia: Students write answers to a daily or weekly trivia question separately, and then post their answers to the board at the same time.
  • Goals: Individually or as a class, students post their educational goals on a monthly or per-semester basis.

Think beyond classrooms and hallways

Bulletin boards can serve a function in just about any room. The reception area, for example, can be a great place to post frequently requested documents—such as brochures or booklets—at eye level, so visitors can easily pick them up.

Having a bulletin board in the teachers' lounge can also foster better communication across departments by keeping everyone informed of all the class and staff happenings. Consider adding a suggestion board, which may spark constructive debate among colleagues.

Female teacher posting something on a hallway bulletin board.

Using an enclosed bulletin board in the gymnasium to display sporting ribbons and other awards or to post team schedules helps foster school pride and keeps players in the know.

Bulletin boards in the cafeteria, meanwhile, can help encourage healthy eating habits. Post helpful tips, stats, and infographics to foster more awareness about nutrition.

Change it up

The key to making the most of school bulletin boards is to keep them up-to-date on a regular basis. Appointing a teacher, staff member, or student to manage specific bulletin boards or having a monthly rotation in place can help keep the momentum going and ensure out-of-date documents aren't hanging around. Keep things fresh and you'll continue to reap the rewards of bulletin boards.

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