This year, things are quite different (obviously!) and while I'm thrilled about Alice and eagerly anticipating her arrival, it's still pretty sad to me to walk past all the "back to school" displays, cute classroom decor, and school supplies. (School supplies have been my kryptonite since I was about six. Weird kid.)
Anyway, while I'm very content with not teaching and staying home with my baby, there are aspects of it that I miss terribly and the number one thing I'm dying to do is bulletin boards (or decorating a classroom in general.) I get how planning, lesson prep, and collating tests and quizzes (shudder!) can be less than thrilling, but decorating my room was always the best part of the job for me. I took a lot of pride in making my room look good and even though I'm not at all a crafty or artistic person, I found the hours of cutting out letters, arranging things with sticky tack, and deciding on just the right border to be oddly soothing. (Weird kid, weird adult.)
Me in my classroom =)
I shouldn't romanticize it all too much; sometimes I forget what it was like to deal with four English classes worth of books...
Strangely enough, many (or most) of my teacher friends don't share my love for bulletin boards. SO even though I'm too far away to take over decorating for my little sister (it's her first year! ah!) or my Aunt Peggy (the best of the best!), I thought if any of you needed a little inspiration for the coming year, I'd put all my past bulletin board posts in one post (this one.) Obviously, some of these are seasonal and won't really apply to the beginning of the year, but you might find something useful!
1. Fall Classroom I
2. Fall Classroom II
"Carve Out a Smile" (with a jack o'lantern.)
"Punctuation Patch" (punctuation rules on pumpkins)
"Catch the Gratitude Attitude"
"Fall in Love With Jesus"
"Our Class Is a Real Scream!"
Psalm 56:3 "What time I am afraid..."
"We're Nuts about Learning!" (I also did this by taking pictures of the kids making crazy faces and sticking them on big acorns.)
"My Students Are Such a Treat!" (Apply as much or as little sarcasm as you want there. =) I did this on a big poster board cutout of candy corn.)
"Kindness Leaves Others Encouraged." (With leaves... obviously. This is my most pinned fall board!)
"Persistence" (with definition and Charlie Brown- ah! My all-time favorite.)
3. Dr. Seuss Classroom (this was for Dr. Seuss's birthday in March but I also did a Dr. Seuss theme at the beginning of the year when I taught third grade. Tragically, those pictures are nowhere to be found!) I highly recommend buying a set of Dr. Seuss letters- I used them for this theme of course, but also for Christmas and Valentines. Very handy!
Dr. Seuss Captions:
"Think Left and Think Right! Think Low and Think High! Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!"
"Hats Off to Great Students!" (Names on Cat in the Hat hats)
"Things to Remember" (I did this with Dr. Seuss quotes, as you can see, but I also did "Things to Capitalize" in third grade and surrounded it with capitalization rules. You could apply that to just about anything.)
"A Person's a Person No Matter How Small." (I also added "Jesus loves us, one and all." for one of the boards.)
"Hats Off to Great Work!"
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, Oh! the place you'll go."
4. Christmas/Winter Classroom I
5. Christmas/Winter Classroom II
Christmas/Winter Captions (notice there are no "Frozen" references here- that was after my time and I feel like I kinda dodged a bullet! Ha!)
"Rudolph in the Dark" (always a favorite- red dot on a dark background)
"Frosty's Baby Picture" (just a tiny snowflake)
"Don't Be a Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins" (from Elf- using the face of someone the kids know is a big hit! =)
"What a Cool Class!" (Anything with the word "cool" and snowflakes works.)
"Sweet Students" (with Christmas candy/candy canes)
"Welcome Christmas as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand." (I did this by having the students trace their hands and using the shapes to form a tree one year and a wreath the other. Cute!)
"Chill Out! This is a drama-free classroom." (I loved that!)
"It's a Winter Wonderland!"
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but English class (or whatever class) is so delightful!"
"Read, read as much as you can!" (with gingerbread men)
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" (with Rudolph, Herbie the Elf, and the Jack-in-the-Box from the Island of Misfit Toys... this was my favorite last year.)
"Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." (Grinch board)
6. Social Media Classroom
Social Media Captions:
"Before you (Facebook, text, tweet, call, Instagram, etc.), THINK- is it true? is it helpful? is it inspiring? is it necessary? is it kind?"
"Are you using the right filter?" (with Instagram logo- ideally this would also have Philippians 4:8 with it.)
"Trending Topics at (School Name/Grade)" (with little birds- I loved this and you can have a lot of fun with the hashtags!)
"There is no autocorrect in life- do things right the first time!"
"Learn it now > Google it later."
"The best way to have a friend (in Facebook font) is to be one."
7. Spring Classroom I
8. Spring Classroom II
Spring Captions (bugs, baseball, picnics, Easter, etc.)
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard..." (with a picnic blanket background)
"Home-Run Students" (I did a "roster" for each grade.)
"Don't bug me; I'm reading!"
"Writing to be 'hoppy' about!" (with frogs)
"Jump for Joy! ____ Days until Summer!" (also frogs)
"Bee Yourself!" (my nod to Aladdin =)
"Sowing Seeds of Springtime" (gardening)
"Blooming into ____ Graders" (each student's name was on a flower stuck inside a little paper flowerpot.)
"We've Got the Writing Bug!"
"You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart!" (student's date of salvation/testimony on hearts or just hung around the words.)
"Our future's so bright, we have to wear shades!" (I bought some neon sunglasses at the dollar section in Target, had each student pose for a picture in them, and attached them all to bright paper. I loved this.)
There you have it! Notice I don't have a lot of "themes" (western, jungle, etc.) but I just found it was easier to go by seasons or holidays sometimes. If you are doing a theme and need ideas, though, let me know, because I love coming up with ideas! (Again, some people probably think it's weird that it's my idea of good time. Fine by me. =)