Create Attention-Getting Bulletin Boards!

What else besides a flying machine does the shape of a hot air balloon make? Answer: a lightbulb...bright idea!

Title a Bulletin Board: Bright Ideas light up lives in any season of the year!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Every time I walk the halls of a school where I visit to teach writing, I look for attention-getting bulletin boards…

ways to turn visual resources into attentionology tools.

Bright Ideas Light Up Lives in Any Season of the Year! – I discover the bright ideas of other creative teachers, add them to my own, and I’m reminded of two pillars of attentionologists’ strategies for effective classroom management:

  • color catches the eye, making bulletin boards attention-getting.
  • changing up bulletin board and door decor draws students’ attention and helps educators to, in essence, “merchandise” education.

Why do we need to “merchandise” classroom learning?

Because all of us, young and older alike, live in a world of distractions where change and the escalation of change have become the norm…something expected, even demanded.

Attention-getting bulletin boards help hold kids to the tasks you want to be their focus.

Try these designs…

"Come on kids, let's dive into learning today!"

“Come on kids, let’s dive into learning today!”

Dive Into Learning! Post a bulletin board that shows a diver in deep water and then…

lead your class in a diving lesson!

Ask them to stand up, pretend that they are in the ocean, and ask them to “dive into a cool lesson.”

Transitioning into math, reading, etc. with a quick physical activity like pretending to “dive into learning about __________” (fill in your lesson plan title), pumps oxygen to kids’ brains, offering a refreshing break between classroom activities.

Keep Swimming Towards Your Goals! 

"Keep swimming to reach your goals!"

“Keep swimming to reach your goals!”

“Diving into learning” is a good start, but you can take the analogy a step further.

Invite kids to simulate swimming to reach their goals.

Remind the class that practice, patience, strength and endurance are key skills in a good swimmer and in the awesome ability to pay attention!

Go for the Gold!  As 2016 gets underway, invite your class to “dive into learning” in the new year with a bulletin board that features a treasure full of gold.

What's in the gold chest?

Help kids master the concept that education IS  its own treasure.

Ask students to write core subjects – math, reading, writing, science, etc. – in dark letters on gold paper coins to put into the treasure box on your bulletin board.

Who Is Top Diggity Dog? Create an attention-getting bulletin board that offers a clever way to reward young children who do a good job paying attention.

This bulletin board has a space for a photo and short “bio” that recognizes a student monthly who has been the most focused and on task in class.

Who's tops at paying attention this month in class?

Who’s tops at paying attention this month in class?

Good Learners are the Apple of the Teacher’s Eye! – This attention-getting bulletin board design is for young children to help them gain language appreciation with a poem about apples and to encourage healthy eating.

My oh my, here are the apples of the teacher's eye!

My oh my, here are the apples of the teacher’s eye!

A header reads, Good Learners are the Apple of Ms./Mr. _________________’s (your name) Eye! 

Take Pride in Paying Attention – Most kids don’t connect paying attention with getting grades that would make them feel proud.

Teachers can help make that connection.

Lions proud to pay attention!

Lion is proud to pay attention!

Create an attention-getting bulletin board that helps young children learn that paying attention is one of the master keys to learning!

Feature a proud lion who holds a list of ways to stay focused and on task in class.

Outstanding Owls Know How to Look and Listen!  Use paper owl cutouts on an attention-getting bulletin board to represent outstanding learners – kids who know how to look and listen when you ask them to do so.

Outstandiing Owls know how to look, listen and learn!

Outstanding Owls know how to look, listen and learn!

Adapt these attention-getting bulletin board designs to suit your curriculum and community landscape.

For example, if you live in a mountainous region where “diving for a treasure full of learning doesn’t apply,” invite students to climb for treasure instead.

Change it up; one of the best ways to prepare children for success in a world that constantly changes is to model embracing change –

but control it in your classroom by using attention-getting bulletin boards that direct students’ attention where you want it to be.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are having trouble writing connecting sentences between the beginning, middle and end of a story.

Solution: Show toy airplanes, pretending to make them "take off" across notebook paper. Explain to the class that stories, like airplanes, require clear "flight paths."

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