Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bulletin Boards- More Than You Will Ever Want to Know

Today I went back to school to finish up a few things.  For the most part, I am ready for camp on Monday.  Except for the whole I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-teaching-because-I-am-too-lazy-to-look-at-lesson-plans problem. I need to get on that.  At least for Monday.  I can plan the rest of the week after camp on Monday :).

I put up my bulletin boards today.   Of course it can NOT be simple.  I must over analyze this little task, too.  After reading The Daily Five and a few other brain based research articles I have tried to stay away from patterned fabric. It can be distracting to the eyes and make it difficult for the brain to focus on what is displayed.  Really, borders should also be plain (solid black was recommended).  I caved and bought polka dots, but I can tell it is MUCH more distracting.  I am thinking to off set the distract-ability of the borders I may mat everything I post in black to make it pop out.  I can't decide if I have the time!

 I chose blue specifically.  I originally picked out a coral and turquoise color.  I pitched that idea when I went to a professional development two weeks ago about how brain research can be applied to education. I can't remember the exact phrase but blue (and I don't think it was pastels- an actual true blue) promoted cognitive processing.  I was sold :).  I figure I need all the help I can get and if it is the color of the background, so be it!

I have a quick and easy tip. I know many people like fabric.  So do I.  It doesn't fade and looks great for a long time.  The problem with fabric is that it can be so dang expensive!  It never fails; I always pick out the MOST expensive  pattern. 

I read online somewhere that a great CHEAP fabric is the Wal-Mart flat sheet (make sure NOT to pick up fitted like I did the first time around).  They cover a good bit of the bulletin board. I like the twin size.

I picked up two in this blue color and it covered a bunch.
 This is the smaller board above the library.  I had a bunch left over.

I used another twin sheet for the dark blue.  It covered more than half of my long board.  I already had the pale blue fabric.  It was also a bed sheet!!!!!

This might give an idea for the amount of cork board the sheets cover.  I used two twin flat sheets and then part of a flat sheet that I had previously.  The dark blue could have gone further if I didn't have to chop it off for the smaller board.

The best part?  Each sheet costs only $5.00.  For fabric that is SUPER cheap!!!!  The total cost for my boards was about $15 (if I include the fabric I already had).  More expensive than it had to be; I chopped the fabric up to fit my odd sized boards.  I do have one tip- take the sheets home and wash them first.  Mine are ALL wrinkled because I pulled them straight out of the package and put them up.  I pulled it as tight as possible, but the wrinkles are still very visible.  I think I may bring my Downy Wrinkle Releaser, spray it all down, and cross my fingers!

I plan to use the far left board above the library as a math word wall.  The right cork blue board will display the CAFE menu and reading strategies.  The light blue is for me and my junk.  I wanted a place to hang pictures the kids made, schedules, notes and memos.  It is bigger than I need, but the dark blue ran out : ).  I am sure I can find enough stuff to fill it up!!!!

25 comments:

  1. I'm jealous you have such awesome bulletin boards. I have two teeny tiny half sized boards on either side of my chalkboard. Depressing. Like the sheet idea...adding to my list :)

    Haley
    Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

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  2. I've been looking for a way to cover my boards for test taking time. The sheets are a wonderful idea. I lucked out and my boards were made blue. Whatever they are covered in is blue. As a way to save paper, I just don't cover them. Now I have scientific research to back up my leaving them uncovered. Thanks for the wonderful tip.

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  3. What a great( and thrifty) idea!!

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  4. Hi Mandy! Thanks for all the info on bulletin boards. Can you ever really know too much about bulletin boards? We don't have bulletin boards in my classroom, but giant walls, that years ago the principal let the teacher HOWEVER they wanted. I didn't know that blue was such a good color, but that is what I painted mine. I also went to all black border last year or at least black as the background in the border and I loved the continuity. :)

    Amanda
    The Teaching Thief

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  5. Thank you for sharing the information about the color blue, promoting cognitive processing. I have been thinking about painting my classroom blue. Right now it's yellow. When I first started at the school where I teach, the first thing I did was paint a wooden bulletin board, blue.
    Using fabric/sheets to cover boards is my first choice, but the fire marshal won't allow it. That's one reason that I painted the brown, wooden board.

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  6. By the way, your room looks great.

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  7. My room is blue, bulletin boards (only 3 and very small) are covered in black with bright borders. I really like the look. Glad to hear the blue promotes cognitive processing! Every little bit helps!

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  8. Your room is looing wonderful! I love using fabric and packing paper. The dollar store has brown packing paper (or wrapping paper) used to wrap packages to send in the mail. I have a Lodge theme in my classroom and it worked perfectly! Also another suggestion is a plastic table cloth from the wonderful Dollar Store to cover a bulletin board. :)

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  9. I love your ideas! Great to include calm colors, especially on places that can distract students during their work! I found your blog via Elementary Matters! Thanks for all you do :]

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees

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  10. What great suggestions! I never would have thought to use a sheet-I just may have to try that this year.

    NotJustChild'sPlay

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  11. I just stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and I noticed we have the exact same bulletin board colors. I bought those same sheets and polka dotted border strips!

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  12. How do you get the sheets on the boards? Can you just staple them? I am very interested in doing these since it looks great and is cheap!!

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  13. Hey Julie!
    I just used a regular stapler and stapled them up! Works like a charm!
    Mandy

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  14. Do you keep the fabric up all year?? I use wrapping paper which I buy out of season and at outlet stores so it is also cheap, but it wouldn't last as long as a sheet...Hmmm...thanks for the ideas.

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  15. I do keep up the fabric all year. I am so bad about bulletin boards! I rarely switch them out- usually I make them reference walls that I just keep adding information to!

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  16. I actually use the plastic party tablecloths from the dollarstore. You can use them as dry erase boards as well or using scotch tape you can move things on the board all you want!

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  17. I used the plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree but a little bit of stretching actually started to tear them. I'm definitely going to check out Walmart's sheets when they have their back to school sales! :) Great idea!

    fierceinfourth.blogspot.com/

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  18. Walmart material may be cheaper. I always look for $1 a yard clearance... It never fades and you buy it once. The flat sheet is a good idea. I would use the ones I don't use at home, but brown and tan are not so bright.

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  20. It's really nice to see this article and i hope in future i will see your posting knowledgeable. Thank you for that i really hope your next post is for a Deep Fitted Sheets.

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  21. I love using sheets fir bullentin boards. I even made two faux bullentin boards from sheets and border. No one can tell it's not a real board.

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    1. How did you make faux bulletin boards?

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  22. Our custodians painted our bulletin boards a couple of years ago. Some are black and some are blue. It has worked well. The only problem I am seeing is that after a few years they will need to be repainted to cover pin holes.

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  23. Mandy, Did you have to cut the sheets to make them fit?

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