I'm a big fan of changing out bulletin board decor with each unit. It can be as simple as changing out some anchor charts or reference posters to match what you are currently teaching. But if you want to take it one step further, try making your bulletin boards interactive!
I love interactive bulletin boards because they:
- Increase student engagement,
- Build a sense of classroom community, and
- Help you fill those last few minutes of class if they finish their work early.
Here are some bulletin board ideas for you!
I made these famous scientist posters and hung them in my classroom so students could see a diverse range of scientists.
@Mrsjones_science took it a step further and had her students do research on one scientist each month! They looked up some facts about the scientist, added it to a sticky note, and put it on the board. I think it looks great!
Posting QR codes on a bulletin board is a great way to keep students engaged during a lesson. They can scan the QR code, read about a topic or complete a task, and rotate to the next one. This solar system interactive board comes from Paths to Literacy (you can even download the QR codes here!)
Teaching food chains and webs? Check out this bulletin board set where students identify feeding relationships in a grassland ecosystem. Simply hang the cards with thumbtacks and students attach string between the tacks. You can find the cards here.
Sometimes students have questions that don't relate to the lesson (so you don't have time to answer it right then) or a question you don't have the answer to. This burning questions board from @Captivatescience is a great place to leave questions you can come back to later.
Bridget from @MissBossScience had her students research a constellation and add it to this interactive bulletin board display. She hole punched stars they glued on, but you could also use brass thumbtacks if you have them on hand.
National parks are amazing places to visit. Have students research a national park, fill out an info card, and locate it on a map on a bulletin board. You can find a template here.
Do you have students that like to color? You can hang up some science coloring pages on a bulletin board that students can color during the last few minutes of class. Download some free ones here!
For this bulletin board, I wanted students to think about future goals they had. And not small goals (like passing a test) but BIG goals. What are their hopes and dreams? I printed out "Your Future is Limitless" for the top of the board and added a rocket with some leftover Christmas ribbon. The middle of the board says "what goal do you have for the future?" Students can add their goal to the board on a sticky note.
This one isn't science related, but I LOVE the idea of students building each other up. This Cheers for Peers board comes from @Headoverheelsforteaching. She put this in her staff workroom but it could also be done in your classroom. Who wouldn't love to see a nice note someone left for you?!
We all would love a picture-perfect-pinterest-designed classroom. But if you start adding up the cost of new posters, paint, flexible seating... you will break the bank. I remember as a first year teacher I felt like I had to spend a fortune on posters to fill up wall space (and I did...). But it IS POSSIBLE to decorate your classroom on a small budget. Here are some ideas!
1. FIND FREE POSTERS ONLINE
There are a TON of awesome graphics and posters online made especially for teachers. Some sites will even mail them to you for free! But if not, you will need to print them yourself. Check with your school library and see if they have a poster machine. You might be able to send them a PDF and they can enlarge and print it for you! Check out this blog post that has a MEGA list of free science posters.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN POSTERS
Have a creative side? Try making your own posters! I have a bulletin board in my classroom that says "We are learning about..." and I like to change out the posters with each unit. I design a powerpoint slide for each unit and have the library print and laminate them for me. (You can also have them printed at an office supply store, but expect to pay over $10). If you want to make multiple images you can hang a bunch of regular sized pages and not worry about printing anything poster size.
3. CHECK THE DOLLAR STORE
Most of the time the dollar store carries more elementary-themed decor, but you'd be surprised at the number of science posters and decor I've found over the years! I've had the best luck at Dollar Tree. I've picked up periodic table posters, water cycle posters, and science themed borders. Be sure to check often because their inventory changes regularly.
4. TRY USING WRAPPING PAPER
Have a large space you want to cover but are stumped with what to do? Try finding a science-themed wrapping paper! This idea is from Ashley Bible- she covered one wall in her English classroom with bookshelf wrapping paper. She found it on Spoonflower.com- be sure to wait for a sale to save even more.
5. REPURPOSE STUDENT WORK
Hanging student work on the walls is completely free! You could have students make one-pagers, infographics, or hang up paper models. Every year when my students learn about DNA I string together their paper models and hang them across the room.
6. LOOK ON TPT
There are a ton of posters and banners on TpT! I have a bunch of posters listed in my store, including this Twitter Science Bulletin Board which is free!
I posted a picture of my latest bulletin board on facebook and instagram and got a lot of positive feedback. Many people reached out asking for a copy to make their own, so I've uploaded it for FREE to my TpT store! I've included 2 versions: a non-editable PDF that is ready to print-and-go, and an editable powerpoint version in case you want to change up any of the scientists or quotes. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE to head to my TpT store and download them for free! I'd love to see your classroom! Share your images on instagram and tag me @ScienceLessonsThatRock!
As teachers, we are always on a budget. Decorating classrooms can get pricey. When I first started teaching I was spending a fortune online and at teaching supply stores to buy science posters so my walls weren't so drab. Since then, I've been creating my own science posters that the library will print for me poster size and laminate. You can see some of my posters in the picture gallery below). It has saved me a bunch of money! I have posters in my store, covering topics such as the rock cycle, cells, scientific variables, and more. Check them out here! You can buy the whole bundle and save!
I've also complied a list of other posters I have found online for FREE download:
1. Human Genome Poster- This is great to bring out during my genetics unit. Students can look up which genes and diseases are held on each chromosome.
2. Top 10 Reasons you should take Physics
3. Water Education Posters- many posters available on topics such as groundwater, watersheds, and water quality.
4. Scientific Method- Scholastic has created these posters on the scientific method
5. Earth at Night- Poster from NASA
6. Earth/Mars Comparison poster
7. Earthquakes and Seismology- from IRIS
8. March for Science- 6 free posters to celebrate women in science
9. Physics Central- Fun physics posters that can be purchased or downloaded for free
10. I am a scientist series
11. Renewable Energy Posters- in developing countries
12. Big Telescopes- and why we need them
13. Periodic table for biology- Great for honors/AP students
14. Make a difference with careers in biology poster set
15. Not All Chemists Wear White Coats poster set
16. Periodic Table for Biologists
17. Teaching Tolerance- not science related, but oh so important!
18. Forces of Nature- Poster series of women in science
19. NSTA Infographics- More teacher based than student based, but still colorful and free
20. STEM Role Model Posters- These are 8 beautiful posters of women in STEM!
21. Forces of Nature Posters- from Perimeter Institute.
22. Solar System and Beyond- Poster set from NASA
23. Recycling Posters- Poster set from We Are Teachers