As the summer vacation comes to a close students are thinking about returning to school and are shopping with their parents for new clothing and school supplies. Teachers too are excited about returning to the classroom and are looking for ideas of how they can make the transition from holidays to the routine of the classroom easier for students.
One of the most exciting things about returning to school for children is seeing their name on a bulletin board welcoming them back to the classroom. All teachers have a list of the students who will be in their classroom before the first day of school. As a teacher in an elementary school, I tended to have a theme for the first few weeks of the school year and designed a bulletin board around this theme. For example, Grade 2 students love learning about frogs. As part of this theme, I cut out small frog shapes from green construction paper and printed the names of the students on these shapes. I decorated the door of the classroom with these frogs using a heading of “Look Who’s in Grade 2.” This could also be a bulletin board idea for a wall in the corridor just outside the classroom as well and can be adapted to suit any grade level or theme.
The first day of school is a meet and greet for students who are new to the school and for the returning ones who haven’t seen each other for a few months. “My Summer Vacation” is a great bulletin board idea to enable the students to share their experiences with the rest of the classmates. I always posted a photo of something I did during the summer or a photo of a location that I visited on this bulletin board along with a short paragraph about the photo that I chose. Students can talk about what they did on summer vacation and write a short paragraph or story about it to contribute to this board. Then they can either bring in photos to accompany their write-up or draw and color an illustration. This activity is also a great way to take a look at the writing abilities of the students and to make a rudimentary assessment of the needs of some of the students.
Letting the students know a little about what they will be learning in the upcoming school year is also an idea for a back to school bulletin board. A suitable heading could be “Let’s Get Excited About Grade …..” This bulletin board could list some of the topics students will be studying this year in school and have short descriptions of activities that they will enjoy. In this way, you can alleviate some of the fear students have about their new teacher and what they will be doing in class.
The main thing to remember is that the bulletin board you choose to display should be colourful and easy for children to understand and to add to as the month or the year progresses.