Making the Most of Bulletin Boards

I have to confess – I was never one of those teachers who loved doing bulletin boards. When I was in my teacher training program, I never longed for the day that I’d put up my own butcher paper, borders, and die-cut letters.  Not me!  I’ve always thought bulletin boards were a little bit of a pain. 🙂

A year ago, I decided to be very purposeful about my bulletin boards for the coming school year.  I wanted them to work for me – not create extra work for me!  I decided that I wanted my bulletin boards to meet the following criteria:

– Easy to refresh
– Consistent throughout the classroom (same background and borders)
– Dark background color (so that white paper visually pops against them)
– Have lots of space for anchor charts

The last one was especially important to me, because I love me some anchor charts.  There’s never enough space to display anchor charts in the room!  Plus, sometimes I like to add more to anchor charts after we first create them.  If they’re already hung up, that can be difficult.  So I was looking for a way to display anchor charts so that I could easily put them up and take them down.

With these things in mind, I created my dream bulletin boards!  I was very happy with my boards this year.  Here is a picture of my math board.

I used navy cloth (from Jo-Ann fabrics) to cover the board.  I added lime green borders (Teacher Created Resources) and kept these same two elements throughout all the boards in my room.

Next, I created space for anchor charts.  I measured the chart paper pad I had in my room and then used lime green ribbon to outline two areas for chart paper.

This is not the best picture, sorry!  But at the top of my chart paper outline, I placed two clothespins.  Each clothespin is decorated with a strip of thick scrapbooking paper, and it has a thumbtack hot glued to the back of it.  To read more about making the clothespins, click {here}.

To hang anchor charts, I would just (carefully) open up the clothespins and pin up the chart paper.  If we wanted to add more to the chart, I could just take it down and then hang it back up later.  So easy!  

I left these bulletin boards up for the whole year.  They took some planning before the school year began, but they sure were low-maintenance during the year.  

If you are looking for low-maintenance bulletin boards and use a lot of anchor charts, I would definitely recommend setting up your bulletin boards this way.

For more free, fun ideas to help you organize and decorate your classroom, check out my “Classroom Organization Tools” board on Pinterest (click on the image below).

How to create bulletin boards that work for you - and have room for anchor charts! - Learning At The Primary Pond

UPDATE:  By request, I’ve made a few different sets of my bulletin board letters.  If you’re interested, click on the image below!

Happy decorating!

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21 Responses to Making the Most of Bulletin Boards

  1. I really like this idea. I am going to paint my bulletin boards black so I will not need to use a background paper and then I will use some bright ribbon to create the border. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Excellent blog post! It gave me so many ideas for my first grade classroom. I never thought about using clothes pins and ribbon before. Thank you! Colleen Carson

  3. I like the idea of anchor charts, but never wanted the cluttered mess on the walls. This is a great way to hang them. Tucking this idea away for my new classroom in our brand new building this fall. 🙂

  4. Definitely using your anchor chart idea this year. Couldn’t handle the clutter and chaos of anchor charts falling throughout last year.

  5. Awesome idea! I’m totally going to do this but I may make the clothespins 3M hooks instead. I would use book rings to go on the hooks and that way we could ‘archive’ our older anchor charts and still have them to refer back to if needed. You see I love me some anchor charts too! Lol

    • I love this idea! I have moved from being an instructional coach to a gifted and enrichment teacher. Therefore, I will be using many anchor charts. This idea will make it easy for me to flip to the different grade levels I will be working with!

  6. Great idea! You could also look into dying your clothespins to match! It’s very easy…and would add more “pop”!

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