Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bullseye Bulletin Boards -- Objective Boards that Hit the Mark

This month I'm so excited to be linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners for their #2getherwearebetter Linky Party about bulletin boards!! 

In high school I often dreamed of being a bulletin board designer. I absolutely loved tagging along with all my teacher friends as we scoured the teacher supply store's aisles for a brightly colored background paper, the perfectly coordinated border, and thematic accents to pull it altogether. I enjoyed the craziness of trying balancing on books, which were stacked on a chair, that was dangerously teetering atop a table to wrestle with what seemed like football field size sheets of butcher paper in an effort to staple it above my head. I enjoyed the task of jigsaw puzzling the borders strips together to try to cover the enormous expanse along with perfectly aligning your text letters so they were straight but also centered. But, once it was all said and done, there was nothing like stepping back and admiring the bright and beautiful new bulletin board ready to be filled with learning!!

My objective board with all the "I Can" statements for the day posted and ready to go!!
As a teacher now, I still do love creating bulletin boards -- however, with the exponentially growing To Do List of things needed to prep for a new year, bulletin boards have sometimes become just another item to be checked off the list. While I still love stepping back and looking at the final result, loosing the battle to butcher paper and ending up in a background paper burrito has somewhat lost its charm. 

Even though my dreams of becoming a bulletin board designer have somewhat faded (as now I get to experience all the other joys and loves of teaching I much prefer), I’d still like to share one of my favorite bulletin boards in my classroom. While it’s not my most sparkly or eye-popping, I love it because of how it works for me (and we all need things in our classroom that work for us).

Backstory: My classroom is small. As in super tiny. Granted at my private school our classrooms reflect our small class size, they’re still pretty limiting. I had struggled for years on where to hang our daily objectives or learning targets. I wanted them to be in the front of the room and visible for the students to see, but between my whiteboard, math calendar board, etc. there was no space left at the front. One year I made an effort to write the objectives on my whiteboard before each lesson – this is great in theory and may work for upper grades where students have passing periods – but let’s be honest, what primary teacher has time in between subjects to write out an “I can” statement when manipulatives need to be grabbed, owies need to be tended to, and spilled paint needs to be cleaned? I was never able to do it as seamlessly as I would have liked, and even if I did, if I tried to use the computer to project something during the lesson, the written objective would then be in the way. #thestruggleisreal

Last summer I decided to brainstorm what I wished I could do in my classroom: have all the objectives written for the day clearly posted at the front of the room for the students to see during a lesson. Even though I had no space at the front, I came up with the following solution. For my first grade fairytale-themed classroom, I developed a “And They Learned Happily Ever After” bulletin board to display our daily learning objectives. Here all of the I Can statements for the day are posted. Each statement is written on its own magnetic tag that line up with magnets placed on the bulletin board itself. I simply hot glued a magnet to the back of a laminated tag and one more to my bulletin board. The lamination makes using a whiteboard marker easy to write on and wipe off painlessly for the next day. While the board itself is in the back of the room, for any given lesson, I grab the specific objective and bring it to the front of the room where we are doing our lesson. 

I can put it on my magnetic whiteboard easel when we are at the rug:

I can put it on the main whiteboard if we’re sitting on the front rug:

Or I can place it on my small magnetic whiteboard if I want it take it outside for a science lesson or place it somewhere else in the room. Sometimes we do part of a lesson on the rug and then head back to our desks and it makes moving our objective simple, quick, and still visible for the students no matter where we are:

This has made everything SO easy. I can just grab and go when I need the objectives. At the end of one lesson I put on objective away and grab the next one – even my kids can help me.  They take limited space but are still visible when we need them during a lesson, but we can still refer to all of the daily objectives if we want to (like when we wrap up at the end of the day).

Teachers work so hard. So make sure your classroom d├ęcor, procedures, and lesson are working FOR you! Hope this tip helped!! Can’t wait to hear what all my other linky friends are doing with their bulletin boards! Copy the images and link up on Ashley or Angie's blogs!!! 



  1. I love those little standards boards! They are so cute. I teach fifth and my class is with me ALL day... it's definitely hard finding time to change standards (and we're expected to do it daily!). Thanks for sharing your tips with us! :) Great blog, you make me want to move down to lower grades!!!

    The Whimsical Teacher

    1. Thanks SO much for your sweet comment!! Kudos to you for teaching 5th grade (I did my student teaching in 5th and loved it -- so fun!!)!! Yes, lower grades are absolutely fabulous, but we are so thankful to all of the awesome upper grade teachers like you! By the way, I am in LOVE with all your adorable bows with buttons on your boards -- too, too cute!!!

      xoxo, Danielle