Effective Bulletin Board Ideas for Teachers

8 Min Read  •  Classroom Organization

Scroll social media for any period of time as a teacher and you’ll find people asking about bulletin board ideas for teachers.  We’ve all done it.  And we spend a lot of time on this process. We toss around ideas for themes, posting work, and making them visually appealing.  Sometimes, I wonder if we spend TOO much time on this.  I mean, shouldn’t we be focused on curriculum, assessment, and our schedule?

Sure… but bulletin boards can actually be a way to focus on all of these things at once. I like to make my bulletin boards WORK for my students and for me. Here are some bulletin board ideas for teachers for ways you can spice up that space:

Interactive Boards

There’s no reason for your bulletin boards to be a one-way street of communication. Think about ways that your bulletin boards could invite interaction. You might highlight a piece of artwork and ask students to write “I Wonder…” statements.  Or you could create a class “tweet” board where students write their thoughts on a topic using post-its.  Easy to change and always relevant!

Bulletin board ideas for teachers, Education Closet
What’s great about interactive boards is the variety of experiences they create.  If you have multiple boards in your classroom, you can use them as a homebase for centers or stations.  Students can rotate between them and use each board as either a way to explore each concept or a way to share their learning.

Here’s a list of themes to get you started:

  • I used to think and now I think
  • If this…Then that
  • Our hero’s journey
  • Tweet Deck
  • I wonder if…
  • Wall of Thanks
  • Put the Puzzle Pieces Together
  • Collaborative Mural

Informative Boards

These boards provide students with tools they can use to help them solve problems or remind them of strategies.  They can also be great for sharing project outlines, housing your essential questions, or even as a reference to your class expectations and student jobs.
Bulletin board ideas for teachers, Education Closet

Need some specific ideas?  Try these:

  • Classroom Expectations and Rules
  • Prove It Boards
  • Vocabulary Walls
  • Popcorn Reminders
  • What is {rotate your topic}?
  • Problem-solving strategies

Illustrative Boards

Lastly, these boards “illustrate” or showcase student work.  These boards offer ways to celebrate accomplishments, engage in the reflection process, and to share the important learning happening each and every day.  Sometimes, I like to combine these with “interactive boards” and attach QR codes to learn more about the student work being displayed.
Bulletin board ideas, Education Closet

Try using any of these themes:

  • Masterpiece wall
  • Museum gallery
  • Academy awards
  • Best inventions
  • We’re “branching” out
  • Board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Chutes, and Ladders, etc) with student work as game pieces.

20 Bulletin Board Ideas
My guess is that you already know and use each of these types of bulletin boards – there’s nothing new here, right?

Maybe.  But it’s not the boards that make the difference. The power lies is using all 3 in your classroom to create a culture of active learning, resourcefulness, and reflection.

Because the reality is that our physical spaces do matter.  They have an effect on us, and we need to consider that when setting up our classrooms and our schools.  As well as creating a more pleasant physical space, bulletin boards are a great way to share student work which helps create a nurturing, supportive and celebratory environment. Here are some some more ways that bulletin boards can work for your students:


Use your bulletin boards as a place of honor and see kids working to have their piece added to the display. A colleague of ours once shared, “When I was in kindergarten, my teacher was putting up pictures of sneakers we colored with yarn attached to them. She only put up your picture once you could tie the yarn like a shoelace.  I remember going home and practicing tying with anything I could get my hands on. I sat for what seemed like hours with my Winnie the Pooh trying to tie his bib on. All so I could get my sneaker added to the bulletin board.” Genius!  

Information station

Bulletin boards can be created to reinforce for the students something they are learning in class, they can be created to inform a visitor, or they can do both. When someone comes into the school or classroom from the outside (parents, visitors, fellow educators), they can see what kind of learning is happening in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing way.  If you have concerts coming up, a lot of people will be entering your school. Bulletin boards are an effective way to communicate with the masses without having to say a thing!  

Make it eye-catching

Think of the bulletin board as an advertisement.  You want to draw in your consumer.  Create a catchy but informative title that can be seen from a distance and use contrasting colors to draw attention to the work.  Go daring and add a three dimensional aspect.

Frame the work

Whether a piece of writing, a piece of artwork, or a photo of students at work, create a frame. This gives it a finished look and another way to help the work stand out.

Use “board-worthy” work

If you are using a bulletin board to display student work, be sure the quality is worthy of presentation.  If you, as a professional, were to give a presentation or if you go to a museum, the work that you are allowing to be displayed is the final form. It should be no different for your students.

Label the work

If a child created “board-worthy” work, be sure the work is clearly labeled in lettering large enough that they are easy to see.  Let them get credit for their work!

Consider elements of design

If you think of the bulletin board as a work of visual art or a billboard, you want to consider things like balance, emphasis and variety as you create the layout.

Next time you look at a bulletin board and think, “oh, there’s one more thing I have to do”,  think about all the benefits to your school or classroom climate and consider how you can incorporate each type of bulletin board in your own classroom. Get crazy creative! And don’t forget to have a little fun while you’re at it.