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Elementary Science

bulletin boards

Author Post
Jane Borjas Jane 1370 Points

I am looking for a bulliten board idea. I need something I can leave up the entire year or change easily. I am a science specialist. I service 2 elementary schools and all the students in the building except kindergarten. Thank! Jane

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Hi Jane,
My first thought was perhaps a 'Word Wall' for teachers that might have strategies for teaching inquiry science - that could be added to all year. Then I remembered an article I had read about electronic bulletin boards. The article was called: Electronic bulletin boards and digital student groupsYour text to link here.... I can envision you setting up an electronic bulletin board for your teachers. It would be easy to access and change out. Plus teachers could get to it from their classrooms. Just a thought. Let me know if you decide to try it and how it works.
Hope this helps.

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37248 Points

Jane, I like Carolyn's idea of a Science Word Wall , but I guess I need to know who is the audience for the bulletin board, and then what is its purpose? If the bulletin board is for students, it might be an interactive Science Words We Understand Wall where early in the year one of the words might be beaker. Maybe the word as well as a small beaker in a plastic bag might be attached. Once all students understand the word, you might leave the word but take the actual artifact down. This might really help learning disabled, ESL students. If the wall is for the teachers, I am not sure what my thoughts are yet. Kathy

Caryn Meirs Caryn Meirs 26235 Points

These are all great ideas - I keep a science & enrichment bulletin board for the buildings I work in as well. I make it as interactive as possible so teachers can stop by with their classes on the way down the hall if they would like. For the opening of school last year I "ran the numbers" of what had happened out in the world from the last day of school to the many days had passed, youtube videos were uploaded, inches of rain, tons of garbage produced, trees cut down, miles I'd run....I invited the classes to brainstorm other measurements and add them to the wall. As the year goes on I try to use whatever theme of the year I can find, and also take a lot of ideas from Science & Children. I've also divided the board into three sections - a question for them to investigate, a main board for information and the last a scientist of the month to meet.

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

Kathy Schrock's website has lots and LOTS of ideas for bulletin boards
Schrock's website

you might find something useful there.
I also like the idea of an interactive bulletin board that asks kids to place labels on a diagram (the parts of the earth, for example or 'name the lab equipment')

I assign students to work in groups to change the bulletin board monthly (I give them a would be amazed what kinds of ideas they come up with)

Caryn Meirs Caryn Meirs 26235 Points

Kathy Schrock's website is an amazing resource! I found this book mentioned in an NSTA article and just read through a library copy (I ordered my own today!) it has more than enough ideas to make a wonderful resource for making a truly interactive bulletin board that changes each month! A Year of Hands-On Science by Kelly Morgan Amazon Link:

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Jane, You've gotten several great bulletin board website ideas from the other posters. Here are a few additional websites that I use frequently for bulletin board design ideas: " target="_blank">TeacherVision bulletin board ideas " target="_blank">ProTeacher Science Bulletin Boards Another great idea for a year long elementary science theme is using the [i]Magic School Bus[i] series. When I was working in a elementary science lab, I decorated the entire room with a magic school bus theme. I cut a giant school bus out of yellow butcher paper and had cut outs of Ms. Frizzle and her students around the room. We did a lot of activities with the Magic School Bus books, so the theme carried through to our classroom activities.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

These are wonderful sites for ideas on bulletin boards --in fact I am going to share them with folks in the informal science world. They, too, are always looking for creative ideas. Thanks...patty

Caryn Meirs Caryn Meirs 26235 Points

First quarter is done - we are moving through the holiday, mitten themes, and into 2012. I'm wondering if anyone has put up a bulletin board they really like and would share?

Daliz Vasquez Daliz Vasquez 1455 Points

Hi Jane, I'm an elementary teacher and one of my favorite bulletin boards is titled "A Bulletin of Change." This bulletin board is an interactive bulletin boards that the students manage. Basically I choose a Science topic my favorite is always pollution. On the bulletin board I have an observation table, a bar graph, a line graph, a pie graph, a pictures section, a hypothesis statement section, and a reflection area. As we work on different pollutions I choose a group that has demonstrated mastery in each of these areas and they "design" the board. The students love it! You will not believe how much they get done just to get their group up on that board. Hope this helps! Daliz

Lorrie Armfield Lorrie Armfield 51438 Points

Greetings all, After teaching for 14 years, I now consider myself a wiz at creating bulletin boards in my 8th grade classroom; Data board (inclusive of charts and graphs relating to our written formal assessments); WICR board- Writing (Cornell Notes), Inquiry- Photos of scholars engaged in laboratory investigations; Collaboration- Scholars work from learning stations in which they had to work collaboratively to accomplish a task; Reading (Copies of electronic journal articles written by scholars on various science topics); etc. My dilemma is that now I have been charged to upkeep a science display case on the main floor of our school (near the office). The ideas and suggestions you've posted are amazing. I was at a complete lost on how I would convey a 'Culture for Science' for the entire building and those visitors to our school. You all are the absolute best. Stay coming soon (and thanks a billion times over). LA

Cheska Robinson Cheska Lorena 5075 Points

Staff members are in charge of certain bulletin boards throughout the school; I have 3 I have to keep updated every month, which can get quite time consuming especially as a first-year teacher. I have a board in the hallway for 5th/6th science and for December I posted "Our Changing Earth" with student work examples of Pangaea puzzles and cardstock cards with key vocabulary terms printed on them. Students can open the cards and it shows either a picture definition or written definitions taken from student summaries. I have another bulletin board in my classroom, which I use as a "home base" since I have limited desk or shelf space for paperwork. I staple folders on the bulletin and use them as holders for papers students need such as current event graphic organizers, homework agenda sheets, and Challenge puzzles for early finishers. There are also folders for students to pick up missing work if they were absent. I staple some samples of student work around these folders too; currently they are writing samples from 5th graders who came up w/ unique ideas to recycle objects for our pollution unit. I have a whiteboard wall too in the classroom, and though it isnt technically a bulletin board I use it as a word wall where I tape laminated pictures of key vocab terms in English and Spanish for both grades. My goal is to have the whole wall covered w/ pictures by the end of the year. Last, I share a bulletin board w/ the art teacher in the science lab and we collaborate what to put on the board. In Fall, we did a collab on observation using DaVinci's notebooks. We drew Vitruvian man and split him in half on the board for the two subjects. Her board was titled "Art through Observation", and my side was titled "Science through Observation" and that was how we introduced observations/inferences, sketchbooks and interactive notebooks at the beginning of school. This winter we are doing elements; hers is "Elements of Art", while I have "Elements of the Earth".

Lorrie Armfield Lorrie Armfield 51438 Points

Wow Cheska! I love your December 5th/6th grade science board on our "Our Changing Earth". Unbeknownst to you, you are absolutely sparking my creative side. Keep the suggestions coming. LA

Kendra Young Kendra Young 17180 Points

One that I did that required little upkeep was the "Flaming" board. I've mentioned it on here before but can't recall what thread it's in. I use it when students have those great discussions or questions that would require additional research. They post their idea or question on the the board using post its or die cut shapes. When we have a few extra minute in class we go to the board for topics - and I've been known to allow extra credit for researching the topics found there.

Brandy Stewart Brandy Stewart 7755 Points

Have you ever thought about an interactive board? Something with a problem students could put answers to maybe in a pocket on the bulletin board using index cards? I usually do a few of these a year. In upper elementary, I call it my class twitter.

Lorrie Armfield Lorrie Armfield 51438 Points

Brandy, The 'Class Twitter' idea is cute,and a great way to get students to participate in the problem/solving activity. Instead of tweets, they create posts. I love it. LA

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37248 Points

Cheska, I want to visit your school, your classroom. I would learn so much from you. I absolutely LOVE the bulletin boards collaboration using Da Vinci's notebooks. This must be so powerful. An awesome way to demonstrate integration as well as such a cool way to get students started in science notebooks. Can you share more about the interactive pieces of the notebook? I am sure this will be helpful to many teachers. Kathy

Brandy Stewart Brandy Stewart 7755 Points

Thank you Lorrie! The class loves to "tweet". They are REALLY interactive with it! :)

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

A year long bulletin board I have used successfully is on the topic of Through the Seasons. Not only do we post art that students have created related to the different seasons, but we post our data from daily sunrise and sunset times, temperatures, photos of trees we are observing throughout the four seasons. Students have written seasonal poems and narratives of favorite activities they engage in for each season. For an entire school you could invite classes to do different things for the bulletin board throughout the school year. Our school district's invites schools to sign up to post on theme related bulletin boards that are displayed in the board room all year long. It's great to see what other schools are doing. I'm really enjoying reading the posts on this topic. I've gotten some great ideas...thanks everyone!

Cheska Robinson Cheska Lorena 5075 Points

Kathy, Unfortunately the art teacher left before Thanksgiving so her students were unable to continue with the sketchbooks. I am going into my sixth month of teaching, and I just barely started using the interactive notebooks before the school went into a school-wide packet system :( Hopefully next year I can restart and use the sketchbook/interactive notebook idea again and use it for nature journaling with our outdoor gardens. I am sorry I cannot give you more info on the notebooks! Lorrie, however, wrote a great post on using interactive notebooks over in the Elementary Science group, in response to a thread titled "Writing in Science". Hope that helps. Cheska

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

Thanks Cheska, I'll check it out.

Caryn Meirs Caryn Meirs 26235 Points

Cheska - I'm sad to hear that you could not continue the sketchbooks they sound amazing - I hope you are able to pick up this project again next year! It is a new year and I have been searching for the "Year of" information - for a while it looked like the Year of the Ocean was going to make a return, but in the end the only United Nations adopted themes I found were The Year of Collaboratives" and the Year of Sustainable Energy For All" I'm going with the latter and my new board reflects our first pieces of knowledge and wonderings about sustainable energy - starting with thew new solar panel topped carports popping up in all our local government parking lots over the past few months. They are really cool and the kids pas by them everyday on the bus!

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

Caryn...what a great idea. Could you take pictures and post them here so we can see the fruits of your labor?

Denise Davis Denise Davis 535 Points

One interactive board that works great for k-8 school is a WANTED BOARD. You select one great scientist each month in the center of the bulletin board with a WANTED sign placed top center and attach pen and three different colored markers along with index cards on the bottom right hand side. Students are then encouraged to research the scientist and fill the board with the selected scientist greatest contributions and studies. The students can post drawing to represent work, original photographs, quotes, and brief facts. All grades can contribute. This also helps build a strong research foundation early on.

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

Another good one is to showcase inventors. Students can select an invention, research the inventor and post information on the bulletin board perhaps with a picture or drawing of the invention.

Juliet Kim Juliet Kim 2340 Points

Creating a vocabulary word wall would be useful to the students and would not need to be changed. As you work through science units, add vocabulary words to the wall. You could organize the words based on units so you would just need to add to the wall and not change it. Having a vocabulary word wall is also a great way to review past concepts during transitions or at the end of the day. Good luck!

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

Having a vocabulary word wall works great. One of the nice things about it is that students use the words more often if the words are staring them in the face! I often see my students copying them off the wall. They are becoming outstanding spellers and are using the words in context.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Another version of the Wanted bulletin board mentioned above is to let students post articles from newspapers and magazines about what is current in science that is of interest to them. A good source is Science News which has short informative articles that students can understand easily.

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

I like that idea! One of the things I have my students do for oral presentations is find an interesting article in a current magazine or newspaper that has scientific information. They provide a summary of the article and tell about its application to their own lives if applicable. I encourage them to find articles that have practical applications. Parent help is requested and encouraged.

Gwyn Bray Gwyn Bray 3540 Points

Have you considered an interactive bulletin board...possibly putting up mirrors and attaching a flashlight so they can explore light energy. Possibly having a board with tools and descriptions of what they are used for. I like having bulletin boards with Velcro so that the students can match up topics, using the bulletin board as an additional teaching resource.

Hannah Lestan Hannah Lestan 1100 Points

Hi everyone! Thought I would share an idea that I plan on using with my 6th grade class as I begin teaching ,and with students that I tutor. I love creating fact quilts. They are very interactive and a lot of fun for the students to create. I plan on posting it by the front door of the classroom so students may read it as they enter and exit the classroom. It is a bulletin board to keep up all year round.As a class you constantly keep adding to the quilt as the students learn through different units. After every lesson (or every-other) hand out pre-cut squares and have students write one fact that they had learned about that day in class. If students want they may draw a picture, or include any other details that would make their "patch" appealing. Have students then tape or tack their square side by side to begin making the quilt. At the end of the year you will have a colorful wall that looks like a quilt! You will even catch other students eyes who are not in your class, and other faculty walking by and reading the fun interactive information your students have written. Hannah

Margaret Hunter Margaret Hunter 1655 Points

What a fabulous idea! I am definitely going to put this one in my beginning of the year folder. Thanks for sharing!

Ricki Luster Ricki Luster 1400 Points

For our 5th graders, we created a Conduction, Convection, Radiation, and Insulation Bulletin Board. The students were very creative in showing how the different forms of energy are transferred. We incorporated this idea with the Making Connections Strategy that we use so heavily for reading. The rich conversations were a great help to inspire their finished products. They did an awesome job and our bulletin boards look great. Ricki Luster

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

I love all of the ideas that have been generated on this thread! Thanks everyone. Just in case there is a high school teacher reading this thread, I cam across an article in the Science Teacher about Bulletin Boards. It was one of the Idea Bank articles. Very interesting.

Nicky Durband Nicky Durband 1670 Points

Hannah, I agree that fact quilts are a wonderful idea for bulletin boards. I recently taught a language arts/ science interdisciplinary lesson about the plight of baby elephants in Africa that are being orphaned because of poaching. The students created a wonderful fact quilt about the orphanages, the ivory trade, and general facts about elephants. Having the quilt up has inspired the students to find additional facts to add. What a wonderful way for students to be involved in independent research and peer- teaching. For any science topic, the teacher could post the first fact on the bulletin board and with some initial practice; the students could take it from there. I love the idea of having the fact quilt hanging by the door. As students line up, there will be so much to be learned from each other.

Brittney Ronayne Brittney Ronayne 975 Points

These are all great ideas!

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