When it comes to classroom decoration, nothing gets students involved like an interactive display! Usually made of materials that move or that provide students with a hands-on experience, when developmentally appropriate, these classroom displays can help the formation of many skills including:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Visual discrimination
- Left-to-right discrimination
- Problem solving
- One-to-one correspondence
- Letter and number recognition
- Color recognition
- Small muscle coordination
Interactive Bulletin Board Components
- Did You Know? Stepp suggests using this component to pre-assess your students knowledge about a subject or unit. Post a fact and invite students to move a clothespin (or other marker) labeled with their name to a “yes” or “no” column. If you think that students won’t want to answer honestly (let’s be honest, no one likes to admit that they don’t know something), provide unlabeled markers to assess the class overall. If you find that 75% of the class is unfamiliar with a certain topic, then you can be sure to hit that information a bit harder than some of the other material.
- Challenge Questions. Help your students to think about the unit material on a deeper level by posting challenge questions. Provide a pocket containing paper for students to write their answers on and another for their submissions. While participation can be optional, reward students who submit the correct answer. Knowing that there is a reward for correct answers (especially if it’s a ‘good’ prize like a free homework pass or several bonus points) will prompt students to put more time and effort into crafting their answers and, even if they don’t end up with the right answers, preparing these written statements will improve writing skills, grammar, problem solving skills, and force them to think about the material being learned!
- Question of the Day. Craft a review question from the previous day’s material and invite students to weigh in. Discussing the question, the different answer selections (if you choose to provide a multiple choice question), and reinforcing learning objectives is a great way to start the morning routine.
Interactive Bulletin Board
- Background: Black bulletin board paper.
- Title: Title each interactive activity you choose to include (e.g. “Question of the Day”, “Did You Know?”, etc.).
- Border: Brightly patterned, solid, or themed bulletin board trimmer.
- Decoration: Create interactive stations for each activity using brightly colored construction paper and matching pocket folders. For exercises that require students to “vote” create sets of markers labeled with student names. Stepp suggests using clothespins that students can clip on the appropriate answer column or craft sticks for students to place in answer envelopes. For durability laminate all pieces and make sure it’s easy to change out questions and possible answers. Place a small magnet or Velcro dot at each of the designated question and answer spaces so they can be changed out each week or day. You might also consider finding small clear envelopes that can remain attached to the activity board so that questions and answer selections can be interchanged easily by pulling one piece of paper out and sliding another in.
We love Stepp’s ideas to get students involved in the classroom, but we’d certainly like to hear what you think too so leave us a comment below!