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6 Bulletin Board Ideas to Leave Up All Year Long in Your Classroom

6 Bulletin Board Ideas to Leave Up All Year Long in Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom decor, I am all about making sure that it is meaningful!  If it is on my walls, then it must serve a purpose in addition to decorating the space. That purpose might be to teach a concept, introduce important vocabulary, keep students on track, or celebrate student achievements and work.

No matter what the purpose is, the decor in my classroom is always meaningful, purposeful, and intentional. It serves double duty as an educational tool and colorful decor.

Here are some of my favorite ways to both decorate the classroom and provide value for students. The best part is that these instructional decor ideas are ones that you can leave up all year long to help students succeed and save you the time and work of changing out your bulletin boards every month!



Anchor Charts



anchor chart simple bulletin board idea


I love designating one bulletin board as the anchor chart bulletin board. This bulletin board is one that changes with instruction. After creating anchor charts with students during a lesson, I hang them in this space. The basic bulletin board stays the same, the only thing you do is change out the anchor charts! You can leave anchor charts in this space for topics that kids still need support with or change them out with each new unit. I love this bulletin board because it gives all subjects a chance to be spotlighted! 



Kindness DOES Count



positive bulletin board idea kindness be kind display


There is no bulletin board in my classroom that is more important than this one! Kindness really does count and a bulletin board like this one really does make a difference! These kindness expectations are a staple in my classroom, but I also go one step further. Since we celebrate kindness all year long, I have a smaller bulletin board that I use to display seasonal kindness quotes that kids love! When the kids see these positive messages day after day for the entire school year, they begin to put the concepts and ideas into action. So yes, teaching kindness really does count!



Reading Genres



simple bulletin board ideas for classroom library


I really do love decor that serves a purpose and this reading genre display is displayed in the classroom library and is always being used by the kids. It not only helps students select new books and genres to read, but it helps to keep our classroom library tidy! #teacherwin 

Looking to stock your classroom library with more than these posters? Read this post to find out how to get books for your library!



Grammar and Punctuation


simple bulletin board idea for teachers


Another staple in the classroom is these grammar/parts of speech posters! I also display punctuation posters. The kids' eyes are always on them! When something you hang in the classroom helps students succeed and promotes accountability and independence you know it is meaningful and valuable. These posters truly help students throughout the editing and revising process, as well as everyday writing. It helps students to check their work on their own by giving them the information that they need to succeed.


The Writing Process



bulletin board ideas for school


If there is one time during the day that I want students to work independently, it is during the writing workshop time when I am making my way around the room and conferring with writers. With students are knee-deep in writing workshop or writing to a topic or prompt, these writing process posters help them every step of the way. You can also display each step of the process vertically to create a clip chart to hold students accountable by moving a clip with their name through the process. This will help you to understand where students are in their writing each day. 


Reading Strategies


reading bulletin board ideas for the classroom



Do you have a bulletin board that you devote to reading? I do! I love having everything my students need to succeed during reading on one bulletin board, like these accountable talk stems! This is another bulletin board in my classroom that I do rotate out every once in a while. I like to change it with different reading units and strategies that we are learning, especially when we are kicking off reading and reading workshop in the classroom at the start of the year. These stems are perfect to leave up just as students are learning to talk with their peers about the books that they are reading. 



Need More Bulletin Board Ideas? Try these!



simple bulletin board ideas for teachers


Since I love decorating with meaningful decor, I have more ideas to share with you! Try one of these bulletin board ideas to get started displaying purposeful decor that students will love!


When you are thinking about what to hang on your classroom walls and bulletin boards, make it meaningful! By displaying educational resources that will help students succeed you will be creating independent learners who are accountable for their own learning. 



Grab this FREE welcome banner to kick off the school year and leave it up all year long!





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6 Bulletin Board Ideas to Leave Up All Year Long in Your Classroom




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Amazon Back to School Teacher Must Haves for the Classroom

Amazon Back to School Teacher Must Haves for the Classroom

Teachers sure are a special breed! 


We sure do love to shop for our classroom and give teachery {is that a word} gifts to other teachers! Whether it is a new teacher asking for suggestions for their brand new classroom, a teacher looking to freshen up their classroom, or a colleague asking what thank you gift they should get their student teachers, I pull out this list of Amazon Back to School Classroom Must-Haves!


This list contains my personal tried and true teacher favorites, and they are all from Amazon! What better way to shop all things teacher life than by grabbing good deals and fast delivery all from the comforts of home. 


Perfect for ANY teacher and ANY Classroom:


Still looking for that perfect classroom item that you can not find on Amazon? This list of unique teacher resources will help!


must have bulletin board display reading genres in classroom library


Unique Classroom Items You Will LOVE:


While  I truly believe that it is the classroom community that makes a classroom and not what is hanging on the walls, I do love creating an engaging and organized classroom environment to make our home away from home run smoothly and be a great place to be each day for both myself and my students! 



You might be interested in reading:









Check out my favorite classroom must-haves HERE

Like this Growth Mindset Cursive Alphabet!

 

must have cursive alphabet for growth mindset




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Amazon Back to School Teacher Supplies for upper elementary classroom


Get started decorating your classroom this year with this FREE welcome poster!







*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)



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7 Must Read Picture Books for Teaching Inferring in Upper Elementary Classroom


There is nothing more fun and engaging for upper elementary students than making inferences! Playing charades, solving mysteries, and reading books that require inferring are always some of my go to ways to introduce inferring with upper elementary students. 

 

How else do I love to introduce and practice inferring with my students? Using picture books of course! There are so many picture books that are perfect to help students focus on the skill of inferring by asking questions and collecting evidence to help them infer and truly understand the story and the author's message

 

Below is a list of MUST use mentor texts that upper elementary students love that requires that the readers make inferences to truly understand the story.

 

 

Knots on a Counting Rope written by Bill Martin Jr.




This touching story about a young boy who loves to hear the story about the night he was born, requires students to make inferences as they read, trying to discover what exactly makes this boy special. Through your questioning and evidence collection that you do with your student as you read this book, students will make inferences that help them discover that the young boy is blind. This is a story that makes a great mentor text for questioning, inferring, summarizing, character analysis, theme, and so much more! You will want to revisit and reread this book again and again for many different lessons!


 

 

The Stranger written by Chris Van Allsburg




On a drive one night, a family accidentally hits a man with their car. The family loads him up and brings him home to be checked by the family doctor.  The students have to think about who the man is given all the things in the story that make the man “strange”. He cannot talk, animals flock to him, and he seems confused by very common and simple items. Through class discussion and context clues, see if you can infer who thisnameless man is! Grab some no-prep materials to go along with the story here

 


The Wretched Stone written by Chris Van Allsburg




Hands down, my favorite book by favorite author, The Wretched Stone provides so many opportunities for students to infer and figure out just what the stone really is! This book is not just great for learninghow to make inferences, but also as a springboard for important topics such as being involved in the arts and limiting screen time! Chris Van Allsburg is a pure genius!


 

Picture Day Perfection written by Deborah Diesen  




We all have that picture day story we love to tell, but this one takes the cake! Syrup in his hair, a bench as cold and hard as an iceberg, and a late start to the day are going to make for a picture this student will never forget. Follow him on his journey to get the “perfect picture”... and see if your upper elementary students can infer what his true intentions were all along!

 


We Found a Hat written by Jon Klassen



When there is only one hat, but two heads… what is this duo to do?! In this great mentor text, explore inferring feelings, while also examining what friendship means. How do the turtles feel about what they want individually, and how do they feel about each other? The book is a very simple text, with minimal words but great illustrations. Teachers, brace yourselves because this one can lead to some very touching conversations about sacrifice for self and love of others.


 
Somebody Loves you, Mr. Hatch written by Eileen Spinelli




You do not have to wait until Valentine's Day to read this classic! When a man who keeps to himself gets a mysterious package, his whole demeanor changes. Mr. Hatch, a loner of a man who keeps to a strict routine receives an anonymous package with a simple note; “somebody loves you”. Those three words change his entire attitude and routine. This mentor text can be used to look at simple human needs. What does feeling love mean to a person, and how can it change them for the better? How does Mr. Hatch spend his days before and after he thinks he is loved, and what can one infer that means about himself? All of these questions that readers ask themselves must be inferred! Don’t forget to wrap this activity up by sharing love around your classroom!



                     Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great written by Bob Shea




This is a great text to use when looking at self-esteem and individual strengths and weaknesses. This book is nothing short of awesome. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great is told through the eyes of Goat, an envious and bitter companion of the Oh-So-Great Unicorn. Except, what happens when Unicorn doesn’t think he’s actually all that great after all? Inferring the emotions the characters feel about themselves and each other will lead to some awesome class conversations about their own strengths and weaknesses. 

 


Being able to make inferences is one of many reading strategies that students must master in order to understand the increasing complex stories they read as upper elementary students. Be sure to take your time reading each book, collect information that helps students make inferences, and model yourself how you infer as you read these books! 

 

Try this inference activity that always helps my students become active readers who infer as they read!

 

 

Grab FREE inference activities to use with one of the books in this blog post below!







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Looking for more inferring activities to help students succeed? See more HERE.






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5 Tips to Clean Up and Organize Your Classroom Before Summer Break



By the time the last few days of the school year have arrived, so has full-blown exhaustion.

Just the thought of getting organized, cleaning up, and packing up my classroom makes me want to stop everything and take a long nap.


BUT...

instead of running off and hibernating, I think about what my future teacher self would want me to do. And after years of teaching, I know that my future back-to-school teacher self wants me to take some time and get that classroom under control before heading out for summer break.


This quick list has 5 tried and true tips that will help you clean up your classroom and get your room organized as simply as possible before heading off to enjoy the summer. Give these tips a try this year, your future teacher self will surely thank you in August!


✅Spring Cleaning...Teacher Style

Purge, teacher friend, purge. I know from experience that waiting even one year to throw something out that you never use does no one, especially you, any good! Teachers definitely have that hoarding mentality because let's face it, we spend a lot of our own money on classroom supplies and it is not easy to just throw something out that we may one day possibly use! I know, I have been there. Change your mindset to sharing those things you do not use instead of tossing them and you will feel better!


๐Ÿ‘Recycle old materials that you will never use again, especially if they are outdated.

๐Ÿ‘Collect things that are new, or in good condition and leave them in the teacher's room for others to use. One teacher's junk is another teacher's treasure...it's really true!

๐Ÿ‘Have an end-of-the-year raffle for kids with your old teacher stuff! Seriously, my students love this! We have a big raffle on the last day of school. Many things that make it into the raffle are things that I purged, like mismatched folders, faded construction paper or art supplies, supplies that perhaps the teacher before you left behind that you will never use, and really anything that you feel "bad" about tossing that are appropriate for the kids to "win" in the raffle.

๐Ÿ‘Have a lot of cubbies you dread opening? Pick one and start there. Clean that one cabinet out. Once you have done that you will feel accomplished and want to do more. And if you do not want to do more? That is ok because you succeeded at getting one all cleaned out! Yay!


Of course, be sure to check with your administration before throwing out school purchased materials.


✅Get that Classroom Library Under Control

I love my classroom library. And during the first few weeks of school, I teach my students to love it too. Yet somehow during the school year, it gets a bit out of control. Even with a strict system for borrowing and returning books it still gets disorganized. For this clean-up, enlist the help of students. Assign students an area or shelf of the library to check and organize. If your baskets are labeled by genre, have them check that there are no misplaced books. No matter how they are organized, your students can and should get each shelf and basket back on track.


This is also a great time to weed through and take out books that have not been read by students in a while. And bonus tip...add those books you no longer want in your classroom library to the end of the year raffle, kids love it!




✅Pass it on Back

We all have that dreaded pile of student work that we "forgot" about throughout the year. Papers that were never edited, activities that were never scored, and projects that were taken down from the bulletin board and never handed back. #guilty Now is the time to hand it all back! While students work on content-rich projects, use the time to clean out those stacks! Pass out all the papers, notebooks, workbooks, and projects slowly during the last two weeks of school. Send some home each day and by the last day of school...no more piles and no more bulletin boards to take down. By doing it over time during the last few weeks of school, you will feel less stressed and have less to do during the last day or two of the year!



✅Get Ready for the 1st Week of School

Yes, you read that right! Prepping a few things for the beginning of the year will really help you end the year on the right foot and truly enjoy the summer! By preparing things that you know you will need the first week of school, you are not wasting time at the end of the year, but rather gaining time come back to school season. And yes, your future teacher self will thank you for this! 


Here are some things you should do now, to save time in a few months:

  • Map it out! Leave a map on the whiteboard for custodial staff and yourself to know and remember where each of your furniture pieces and boxes goes! This is so helpful and a must!
  • Make back-to-school bulletin boards and any bulletin boards that you leave up all year and cover them with newspaper or old anchor charts to prevent them from fading with the summer sun. I always set up my September calendar at the end of the year and it feels so good to walk in after the summer and see it already done! 
  • Know which back-to-school activities you will do? Make copies now! We all have those staple back-to-school activities we love and do each year. Head to the copy room while it is empty now and make copies because you know that the copy room will be jam-packed during the back-to-school season.
  • Make copies of other materials that you KNOW you will need like thank you cards, parent communication log, the first unit of spelling, first writing activity, or anything else that you know for sure will be needed in the new year!
  • Create your supply list for yourself and future students based on what supplies you have left from this year.
  • Decide on your back-to-school read-alouds and find them! Have that stack ready to go for the first week of school.


classroom calendar and bulletin board set


✅Get Mentally Prepared for Summer

I know you are ready for summer, but be sure to clear your mind before you shut your classroom door. Heading off to summer means we have a lot of time to think, and sometimes overthink or stress about the upcoming year. If you are like me, you like to learn over the summer, think of new ideas for your students, and find new books or lessons to use in the new year. It took me a while to realize that even on my time off, teaching was creeping into too many of my free moments. I needed a mindset change to take back some of my time off, especially during the summer!


If you love learning about teaching over the summer, instead of trying to learn ALL the things, pick ONE topic to learn about over the summer. Want new books for your classroom? Then focus on that. Realize you need to mix up your management system? Read some blog posts by other teachers. Want to help start the year with a growth mindset? Discover and read some professional development books on the topic. But you cannot and should not do it all! If learning over the summer is your thing, pick ONE thing to focus on. Do not use your summer to catch up on everything. 




Since I am sharing so many things dos for the end of the year, I wanted to also share some quick things that you should NOT do at the end of the year. These things will just waste your time, teacher friend, so do not do them! Save them for the beginning of the new school year!


Teacher friends don't let teacher friends:

✅Create class lists or labels for the new year at the end of the year.

✅Plan seating arrangements for the new year at the end of the year.

✅Stress over students in your new class before you even met them.




Remember even though pure exhaustion has set in, and all you want to do is hibernate, think of your future teacher self...what would they want you to do? They would want you to clean up and organize your classroom before leaving for summer break! Even if you only do one item on this list, your future teacher self will thank you! 


Enjoy the summer break, friend! You deserve it!


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Looking for back-to-school activities to have prepped and ready to go?  See more HERE.







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