Back to School Bulletin Boards and Displays


Blasting Off Into Learning Bulletin Board

I have a bulletin board idea I’ve used for several years. I use dark blue fabric with stars on it (Wal-mart $3.96/yard). It looks like outer space. In the corner of my board I cut a large quarter circle that I drew to look like the earth. On an angle pointing away from the ‘Earth’ I put a large rocket cut out of brown construction paper with my name on it. I use smaller rocket shapes with each child’s name on it to go around my rocket and placed them to look like they had also blasted off behind me. The bulletin board caption reads “Mrs. Turman’s class is blasting off into learning!” I laminated each of the rockets and use them over again each year. The children love seeing their names already up before they come to school and I like having a board already waiting for next year. I also ‘borrow’ back the fabric when it is time to do our space unit. Using fabric for a background is great because it doesn’t fade.  (Donna Turman, 2nd grade)

Give a Big Hand to Our Class 
Make large hand cutout by tracing your hand on an overhead transparency, then projecting the image onto colored posterboard. Trace the handprint on the poster, cut it out, and add the caption: “Give a BIG Hand to Our Class.” The students’ names are on smaller handprint cutouts. During the first week, students can make these by tracing their own hands on different colors of paper.  (Diane S./4th/TX)

Happy New Year! 

Down the hallway I put huge colorful numbers 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then on my door I have a large party hat and in glitter letters I write, Happy Fourth Grade! Throughout the numbers in the hall I make construction paper party hats for each student with their name in glitter. I hang curly ribbon from the ceiling in the hall and carry the whole party theme into my classroom.  (Suzie, fourth)

Hard At Work – Door Display 

I use “caution” tape from Home Depot and stick it on the outside of the door in a random fashion and put on the words “Second Graders Hard At Work” then I write student names on laminated note pad paper that is shaped like bulldozers.   (Michelle Burroughs)

Help Wanted 

I use the want ads from newspapers and cover the bulletin board (which happens to be on the door, which is great!) and use a plain black border. In big black letters I put: “WANTED 4TH GRADERS” and then below I put a job description: Must be fun, be willing to learn, like to learn, work well with others, and be looking forward to a great year. (This can be changed for each teacher.) The description is smaller than the HELP WANTED part. Then I put 2 folders: 1) an application for instruction folder and a paper that the students fill out to tell me all about themselves and 2) the Parental Application… This is filled out by the parents and it has contact info and other thigns we need. At my school, we have a “first day of school” that is 2 weeks before school starts and the parents and students come together to meet their teacher, bring their supplies and see their classroom. This board works great for this! Hope this helps!

Ice Cream-Themed Door Decoration 

I decorate my door to resemble an ice cream shop with a pink and white awning at the top of the door {the awning is made of heavy cardboard}. On the door I write the phrase, “Here’s the ‘Scoop’ Second Grade Is A Real Treat”. I then give each child a blank scoop of Ice cream {cut from construction paper} and allow them to decorate it and color it to resemble their favorite ice cream flavor. I then use this same theme as a behavior reward for the entire class. The class works to earn a designated amount of scoops on an oversized cone I have cut from brown paper. Once they have achieved their goal, we have an ice cream party.  (Sabrina, 2nd Grade Teacher, Georgia)

Look Who’s Hopping into grade… 

I use die-cut frogs and free hand lillypads to welcome my kids back to school. I cover half a bulletin board with blue paper (sky) and the other half with green (grass) and then cut out a large pond from more blue paper. I then stick the frogs and lily pads on the “pond”. Each frog has a child’s name on it. Then I cut out the letters for my title, “Look Who’s Hopping Into Grade ___” Looks very cute and the kids can keep their frogs when the bulletin board is changed.  (Laurie Newbigging)

Quack, Quack Welcome Back! 

This is a cute beginning of year bulletin board: “Quack, Quack Welcome Back!” I cover the board with white paper on the top and light blue paper on the bottom. I like to try to make the blue part wavy like water in a pond. At the top of the board I put the title Quack, Quack Welcome Back! I then make 2 big white ducks (and add a wiggly eyes and beak) in which to write the teacher’s names. Next, make smaller yellow ducklings with each of the kids names, 1 per child. I normally put the teacher ducks at the beginning and then line the ducklings behind them. This arrangement can be done any way though. Then, just to make it cuter I add a sun, cat tails, etc. to the board!

Rainforest Fun 

Decorate one of your bulletin boards with a green leaf pattern cloth for a background. Staple silk flowers on the board to make the board 3-D. Have several different rainforest animal silhouettes (cut-outs) placed on each child’s desk. Have them write their name on the animal and decorate the animal any way they like. Staple these on the board with the monkeys in the trees, the butterflies in the air, and so on. Throughout the year they can add animals, pictures of plants found the rainforest and clips of information about the rainforest for year round learning. At the end of the year host a “showing” of your board to other classes and have your students share what they have learned. Have Fun! (Carrie P., 1st)

Ready for a Great Time with “Hour” Class 

I’ve used this bulletin board to welcome my fourth-graders. My caption is “We’re Ready for a Great Time with ‘Hour’ Class!” I write the students’ names on colorful clock patterns. Carson Dellosa has a cute one.  (Diane S./4th/TX)

School’s In Bulletin Board 

I like to have a bulletin board that is designed by my new class each year. This year I have taken a clipart image of a fishbowl and blown it up on the overhead projector. I traced the image onto a huge sheet of white bulletin board paper and then painted in the water and sand. As my class comes in on the first day of school, they find blank pieces of paper on their new desks and are instructed to design a colorful fish with their names in the center. Once the fish are colored and cut out, I staple them onto the fishbowl and give the bulletin board the title “School’s In”. Now all the names of the students in my class are displayed. ** Once the bulletin board is taken down, I hand back the nametag fish and the students glue them onto their portfolios. (Jennifer E., 5/6)

Serving up a great year! 
Draw a chef or waiter for this display. Use paper plates and forks right on your board for a 3-D effect. Then, create a menu of activities for the year. You could include “This Year’s Specials” and list skills or units. You could also include “The House Favorites” with items listed that you really enjoy teaching. Finally you could list deserts and include things like field trips, etc.  (Kimberly Quigley)

Sneak a Peek into Third Grade ! 

  1. Cut out letters that say sneak a peek into ______ grade! 
  2. Then, cut out large eyes and hands. 
  3. Place the large eyes and hands on top on the board like they are peeking over.
  4. Place colorful printed things you will be teaching about on the board. ( book jackets, pictures, words, etc.)

(Kimberly Quigley)

Soaring High in ____ Grade! 

I cover my doorway with sky-blue paper with a cloud border. Then I cut out hot-air balloons (I drew them on my computer) and use pipe cleaners to attach a basket. I write each student’s name on a balloon and hang them up. Then, on the first day of school, I give each student a cloud cut-out and ask him/her to write one thing at which they are talented/knowledgeable. “I soar high with _____” The clouds get hung on the board slightly overlapping their balloon. It is a great way to let them share their strengths and have a moment of pride. (Jen D./5th/PA)

Squirming Into 2nd Grade 

I used cut out letters that spelled out the words SQUIRMING INTO 2ND GRADE. i bought little worms and wrote the childrens names on them. The was an apple tree in the middle of the board with My Name written in the middle. The board read SQUIRMING INTO 2ND GRADE. The image was that of a tree school house with the worms squirming to the tree. Can be used for any grade–just change the number.  (Renee Bush)

Third Grade is Sure to be a Hit ! 

For this bulletin board you will need to cut out the words, “______ Grade is Sure to be a Hit!” Then, place old albums or 45’s all over the board. You may also want to add some musical notes to your display.  (Kimberly Quigley)

Wave Goodbye to Summer 

Using the phrase “Wave Goodbye to Summer . . . Welcome Back to School”, create an underwater scene using a blue background with a wave like cut at the top. Add cotton batting, white out, or white paint mixed with salt to the tops of the “waves”. Using scaps of green bulletin board paper or tissue paper twist strips of “seaweed” up from the bottom border. Place fish (notepad shapes or die cuts work well) labeled with students’ names in and around the seaweed. If used as a whole school display each class can be represented by a “school” of fish.  (Pat Archer, grade 4)

We measure up to a great class ! 

Get yardsticks form Home Depot. Cut them into 5 inch pieces to create picture frames. Add a cut out apple to the bottom right corner. Put the child’s name in the frame, then later their photo. Use large yardsticks to hang the frames. It looks great in hallways.  Jacqueline Kramer

We’re All a Part of the Puzzle in Grade ____ 

I post the title “WE’RE ALL A PART OF THE PUZZLE IN GRADE ___” on my door or outside bulletin board. I then draw a large number to represent the grade I’m teaching. I divide the number into pieces (enough for each child to have a piece) and then distribute the pieces of the puzzle tothe students, who write their name and a word or symbol to describe them. Then the students get together in a large group and put the puzzle together. I then staple it as a whole number. It is an excellent cooperative activity and a very effective look!   Steph, 3rd

Welcome in many languages 

I typed out “Welcome back everyone” on my computer (in MS Word), made it really big, and then used the translater to translate it into French and Spanish, and different fonts to print it in sign language, cursive, phonic pictures and then decorated my bulletin board with them. It demonstrates some of the many ways you can communicate. (Tammy)

Where Did Your Feet Take You? 

I use cut out feet and put them all over the bulletin board. I used cut out letters to spell “Where did your feet take you this summer?” Two weeks before school starts I send home a letter asking the students to bring in a picture of themselves on vacation or just having fun. On the first day of school, I have them draw a picture and write a sentence about where their feet took them over the summer. The kids really like to see all the pictures on the bulletin board.  (Jennifer)

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