3 Easy Ways to Turn a Drab Bulletin Board into a Fab Bulletin Board

When I started my teaching career there was no such thing as Pinterest (gasp)!  So, my bulletin boards were not as “pin-worthy” as the ones that teachers create today.  However, these days, I’m so inspired by what teachers are creating in their classrooms.  While many of the designs might feel out of our league, I’ve found that with a few simple tips, we all can turn drab bulletin boards into fab bulletin boards.  Of course, to illustrate some of the ideas, I’m sharing some images from Pinterest!  I hope that you’ll find that with very little creativity even the most drab bulletin boards can turn into fab displays in the classroom!

Tip #1 – Have Fun with a Creative Background

If you’re looking for an easy way to make your bulletin board super special, it may just be a matter of thinking outside of the box when it comes to backgrounds and borders.  Just skip the paper and try these ideas instead:

Tip #2 – Display Student Work With Pizzazz!

I love a bulletin board that is all about student work. Celebrating students’ achievement and giving students a chance to showcase their learning is a great use of a bulletin board.  So, dedicate a bulletin board just to student work.  To make it especially “fab” create a system that makes it super easy to swap out students’ work all year long.

Tip #3 – Spread a Positive Message

OK, here’s a way to design a bulletin board once and keep it up all year long (gotta love that).  All you have to do is display a positive message on a bulletin board in the classroom.  Check out these super fab bulletin boards for inspiration:

I hope you've found a few easy ways to turn a drab bulletin board into a fab one!  If you're looking for more ideas for classroom décor and design, they’ll you’ll love the FREE 30-Day Teacher Challenge that Rachael from The Classroom Nook and I have put together for you!  Our FREE course includes hundreds of tips and tricks for getting your year in gear.  You’ll discover ideas for classroom design, organization, curriculum planning, and building a positive classroom community.  To sign up and learn more, just click HERE.

I've also put together styled classroom decor kits that you can use to easily create bulletin boards in your classroom.  Check them out HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary Beth

Free Classroom Resources to Save the Day

Let's face it, teaching brings about new challenges every single day! That's why I thought I'd compile 3 freebies that you can use to make some of those days in your classroom a little easier!  I'm sharing free print-and-use resources to help you create a teacher vision, free resources to save derailed lessons, and even a substitute feedback form.  They're all about helping you survive in the classroom!
You can check out this quick video where Jenny from Art with Jenny K. and I are discussing the ideas if you'd like:

And...if you find something you like, just download it for FREE!

Here's a freebie that is perfect any day of the year!  It's a Teacher Vision Poster created by Art with Jenny K.  I'm starting with this idea because this freebie is all about getting back to the core of why you teach.  You might want to complete this poster and take time to reflect on your own personal vision as a teacher.

Since the poster is visually stunning, it's also great to display in your classroom.  Your words and vision will surely help you survive some of those especially difficult days.

Sometimes our days in the classroom are all about surviving the "little" interruptions that can completely de-rail a lesson.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  How about when there's a fire drill right in the middle of your instruction?  Or, what about when the technology that you planned to use for the lesson completely fails?  Oh, and what about when a student is having a rough day and making it especially hard to teach and learn?  Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of ideas just in case something sends a lesson off track?

Well, great news!  I've compiled a set of Back Up Plans to help you survive common classroom problems.

In the free download, you'll find solutions for...
- Fire drills (and ideas for helping students learn on the go)
- Lessons that end to soon (a fun game to extend any lesson)
- Technology Failures (an activity that students can do while you deal with a tech issue)

- Challenging students (an easy classroom management idea)
- Class interruptions (a focus sheet to bring students back to learning)

Speaking of surviving, one of the daunting tasks that teachers have to face is preparing for a substitute teacher.  It can be overwhelming to plan for a successful day in your absence.  That's why you're going to love this Substitute Feedback Form that Art with Jenny K. has put together for you!

With this form, your sub will have an easy way to keep track of behavior and leave you detailed notes about his or her day in your classroom.  You can just stick this form on your desk or insert it into your substitute teacher binder and just like that, your life got a whole little easier!


Well, that's all the teacher survival freebies that I've rounded up for today.  I hope you can make at least one of them work in your classroom!

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Mary Beth

P.S. Just click the images below to learn more about the freebies in this post!

Creating a Colorful Classroom with Mood Boards

I don't know about you, but I just love a styled classroom!  You know the classroom I'm talking about, right?  It's the kind of classroom that seems to have it all pulled together.  Sometimes in our quest to have a visually appealing classroom, it can hard to know where to begin.  That's why I've put together a set of Classroom Design Mood Boards to provide a little inspiration.  

Speaking of inspiration, all of the mood boards in this post are based on a color of the rainbow.  Why?  Because one of the easiest ways to put together a styled classroom is by sticking with a single color.  This makes gathering design elements for the room super easy.  For instance, if you're going for a "blue" theme, then picking out storage containers, a lamp, a poster, and even a fun seat are easy, because all you have to do is make sure that they're blue!

For the most part, each of the mood boards have common elements in them like a...

A classroom rug - No matter what age group of students you teach, a rug is one of the quickest ways to make your classroom more appealing.  Once the rug is in your classroom, you can use it for class meetings, read alouds, a comfy reading corner, a space for partners to work together...the options are endless!

Fun classroom chairs - I love the idea of including at least two chairs in the classroom.  In my own classroom, the special chairs were part of my homework incentive program.  Students worked all week long to complete their homework so that they could sit in the special chair.  But, chairs are also great for flexible seating options, spaces for partners or groups to work together, a "sharing" chair, and so much more!

Hanging decor - Whether it's a fun banner, paper lanterns, tissue paper poofs, or 3-D shapes, an inexpensive and fun way to decorate the classroom is with something that you can hang.  Imagine displaying your banner along a bulletin board or chalkboard.  Or, perhaps you can string the lights in front of your teacher desk.  The options are endless and the impact is huge.  Here's a tip: once you find the hanging decor you like, purchase several of them.  Having multiple sets will have more of an impact.

Quote Poster - There's nothing better than a little inspiration in the classroom.  So, each mood board includes a quote poster.  These are great to hang on your classroom door, at the front of the classroom, or even in the center of a bulletin board.  If you're up for it, I'd suggest getting the posters in the biggest size possible.  The bigger the poster, the more classroom real estate it will take up, and the quicker your classroom will be designed.

A lamp - If you're looking to change the feel of your classroom, a lamp will do it!  Whether it's a floor lamp that you can place on your rug with the chairs or a table lamp that you can set out on your desk, there's just something so cozy about lamps!  If you'd like, you can even purchase a couple of lamps to spread out around the classroom.  Then, you can make it a habit to turn off those florescent overhead lights...what a difference!

Storage baskets - What's a classroom without storage, right?  Well, if you're thinking of getting storage containers, I've included a few inspiration pieces on each design board.  

Fun design elements - You'll find unique elements on each design board, too.  Those have been added to provide even more fun ideas to tie in your classroom theme.

About the classroom decor items:
The items that I've placed on the mood boards are selected with a teacher's budget in mind.  That means that I really tried my best to ensure that no single item was more than $50.  Oh, and since they're sourced from Amazon, there's a chance that you'll be able to put some of the elements on a school purchase order, or perhaps you can put your design requests out into the world with programs like Donors Choose.  Of course, the mood boards are mainly intended for inspiration.  However, if you do want to learn more about each of the items, just click the links provided.

OK...enough background information, let's get to the Classroom Mood Boards!  Check out the 7 colors-of-the-rainbow inspired mood boards!

And...if you'd like to instantly decorate your classroom, check out this Bright and Happy Classroom Decor Pack!  It's filled with over 200 pages of ready-made decorations and includes 25 pages of editable decor elements!  

Since it's filled with every color of the rainbow, you can display the classroom decorations with any color theme!

Great News!  I've been working with my friend Rachael from The Classroom Nook and we have a TON more classroom decor and design ideas for teachers!  In fact, we've put together a 30-Day "Get Your Year in Gear" teacher-challenge.  It's absolutely FREE!  

Just click here to learn more. When you sign up, you'll get access to 4 mini-courses that cover everything Back to School including classroom design, organization, curriculum planning, and ways to build a positive classroom community.  There's also a TON of exclusive freebies, bonuses, and videos!  Oh, and as if it couldn't get any better, there's even a lively Facebook group of like-minded teachers!  If you'd like to learn more and sign up, just click HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary Beth

Looking for more classroom mood boards?  Check out these…
--- Colorful Classrooms (color-themed classrooms)
--- Classroom Sweet Classroom (home décor inspired classrooms)
--- Design for the Little Ones (mood boards for elementary classrooms)
--- Classroom Décor with a Theme (theme-inspired classrooms)
--- Middle School Classroom Designs (ideas for decorating in the middle school)
--- Classroom Design Inspired by the Decades (decades of décor)
--- Bright and Bold Classroom Décor (mood boards filled with fun colors)

* This post contains affiliate links.

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