Today I went back to school to finish up a few things. For the most part, I am ready for camp on Monday. Except for the whole I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-teaching-because-I-am-too-lazy-to-look-at-lesson-plans problem. I need to get on that. At least for Monday. I can plan the rest of the week after camp on Monday :).
I put up my bulletin boards today. Of course it can NOT be simple. I must over analyze this little task, too. After reading The Daily Five and a few other brain based research articles I have tried to stay away from patterned fabric. It can be distracting to the eyes and make it difficult for the brain to focus on what is displayed. Really, borders should also be plain (solid black was recommended). I caved and bought polka dots, but I can tell it is MUCH more distracting. I am thinking to off set the distract-ability of the borders I may mat everything I post in black to make it pop out. I can’t decide if I have the time!
I chose blue specifically. I originally picked out a coral and turquoise color. I pitched that idea when I went to a professional development two weeks ago about how brain research can be applied to education. I can’t remember the exact phrase but blue (and I don’t think it was pastels- an actual true blue) promoted cognitive processing. I was sold :). I figure I need all the help I can get and if it is the color of the background, so be it!
I have a quick and easy tip. I know many people like fabric. So do I. It doesn’t fade and looks great for a long time. The problem with fabric is that it can be so dang expensive! It never fails; I always pick out the MOST expensive pattern.
I read online somewhere that a great CHEAP fabric is the Wal-Mart flat sheet (make sure NOT to pick up fitted like I did the first time around). They cover a good bit of the bulletin board. I like the twin size.
I picked up two in this blue color and it covered a bunch.
This is the smaller board above the library. I had a bunch left over.
I used another twin sheet for the dark blue. It covered more than half of my long board. I already had the pale blue fabric. It was also a bed sheet!!!!!
This might give an idea for the amount of cork board the sheets cover. I used two twin flat sheets and then part of a flat sheet that I had previously. The dark blue could have gone further if I didn’t have to chop it off for the smaller board.
The best part? Each sheet costs only $5.00. For fabric that is SUPER cheap!!!! The total cost for my boards was about $15 (if I include the fabric I already had). More expensive than it had to be; I chopped the fabric up to fit my odd sized boards. I do have one tip- take the sheets home and wash them first. Mine are ALL wrinkled because I pulled them straight out of the package and put them up. I pulled it as tight as possible, but the wrinkles are still very visible. I think I may bring my Downy Wrinkle Releaser, spray it all down, and cross my fingers!
I plan to use the far left board above the library as a math word wall. The right cork blue board will display the CAFE menu and reading strategies. The light blue is for me and my junk. I wanted a place to hang pictures the kids made, schedules, notes and memos. It is bigger than I need, but the dark blue ran out : ). I am sure I can find enough stuff to fill it up!!!!
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught Kindergarten- 4th grades in both the general education and inclusion settings. She is currently a 1st grade Special Education teacher. She is the owner and creator of Mandy’s Tips for Teachers website (www.mandystipsforteachers.com) and has over 13 years of teaching experience. She is married with two beautiful children.