Bulletin boards!  Maybe you love ’em… Maybe you hate ’em…  But if you are a teacher or you work in a school, you probably have had to make a few.

Now, there are many ways you can go about creating and designing these wall attractions and so many ideas out there on websites and Pintrest, but today I’m going to give you a little challenge…  Ready?

Make a bulletin board with no cut-outs or cute posters…

Instead, DIY it!

But when I say, to Do-It-Yourself, I actually mean Do-It-With-Your Students!  (DIWYS just doesn’t have a good ring to it though…)

Here are some ideas to help inspire you to make your next bulletin board something you do with your students:

1. Take a poster or saying, and recreate it.

Years ago, I saw this poster that really resonated with me.  It stated,

Top 10 Ways to Become a Better Reader

And then it proceeded to state the 10 ways…. and every way was to READ!

My colleague hung it in her room and while I took notice, it didn’t make any real impression on our students.  So, I thought I’d try something a little different – make it ourselves!

I made it a secret mission and got my students involved, stating that I would assign small groups to make a mini poster with one of the ways to become a better reader and then…  we would reveal each way to the class at the end.

They got right to work, hiding behind privacy shields to keep their mission top secret.

After the big reveal and a small discussion about why each way to become a better reader is to READ, I invited some students to create and color a title and we put it all together.

2.  Get the Students Involved 

For this bulletin board, I didn’t want to just give ideas of how to “Be,” I wanted the kids to come up with them!  So, after a brainstorm together, I sent the kids off to create their 1 or 2 words that would complete our board.

I just LOVE how this came out!

3. Make it About the Students

When you put the focus on the students, that’s a sure fire way to make sure people take notice!

Here’s a great idea for a middle school bulletin board that truly makes it about them.

For this bulletin board, students take selfies and then add an adjective or positive phrase about themselves underneath.  (Wish I could site the original source, but I couldn’t find it.)

In this start-of-the-year bulletin board, I had each student create a version of themselves as a starfish.  (Shout out to all my SEAL Teachers!!)  For an even deeper meaning, each student then wrote on the backside what they needed as they started the year.  These truly show the uniqueness of each student!

Beginning of Year DIY Bulletin Board

Here’s one last example of how to make your bulletin board about the students.  This bulletin board, from rejoiceandteach.org can easily be created with a big yellow center stating, “Let Your Light Shine!”  Then students can make their own rays full of things they can contribute to the world!

Bulletin Board that showcases student talents

4. Make it Interactive

One beginning of the year, (possibly out of laziness) I decided to put up a huge coloring poster that my daughter had got for Christmas one year, but never used.  It turned out to be a huge hit!  It was a giant map of the world and whenever a student was done with work or needed a break, they could ask to go over to the coloring poster and color.  (Of course, I went over my expectations of how to use it and made a big deal out of making sure we worked with quality.)

This picture is very similar: an interactive coloring poster that many can contribute to:

And, don’t forget about bulletin boards in other areas where teachers get their work done!  This board is in the teachers’ room where I work, encouraging others to do something kind for another colleague.  This idea can easily be translated to the classroom!

DIY Interactive Bulletin Board

“Take what you Need.  Give what you Can.”

Let’s Do This!

The plan for my next DIY bulletin board is to mix all these ideas together!  I want to take the saying, “Spread Kindness like Confetti” and get the the students involved by having them create and color the words as well as create a great border. Then I want to make it about them by having them writing kind things that they have done on small, colorful pieces of paper that can be attached randomly around the words.  In addition, I want it to become interactive by having a pocket of additional papers that the students (or ANY passer-by) can write on and add to board.

Are you ready to do this too?  Get your DIY on and go create something wonderful!