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Perfect Poolside Planning: A Year of Bulletin Boards

Teachers are a funny group of people.  We often spend the last month of school counting down the days until summer break only to spend most of our summer break planning to get back to school!  I’m joining with some amazing music educators to help you with your perfect poolside planning.  As the Bulletin Board Lady, I’m going to talk to you about planning your bulletin boards.

For some people “planning” a bulletin board means scrambling for an idea and the time to put it together during the last few days of the month or close to a holiday or event that may have parents roaming the halls.  Taking a few minutes before the school year to plan your bulletin boards can save you some of that last minute stress.  I know this may seem like a totally new concept, but let’s try it!
I know that some teachers put up one bulletin board and leave it up all semester or all year.  I prefer to change them every month or possibly every other month.  This year we had 24 snow days so I had a bulletin board up for January and February but only about 20 days of school!  If you change your bulletin boards less frequently than once a month planning ahead may make this easier.
Step 1: Brainstorm
What themes do you want to focus on this month?  What holidays could you recognize?  What performance group could you focus on?  What musical concept could you teach with a bulletin board display?

August:  Welcome Back, Music Room Rules, Music Advocacy, summer and beach themes…
September: Welcome Back, Music Room Rules, Music Advocacy, Patriot’s Day, apples, fall, Grandparent’s Day…
October:  fall, Halloween, pumpkins, harvest, audience behavior, student showcase (highlight a performance group or class for parent-teacher conferences)…
November: fall, Thanksgiving, Native American Music, Veteran’s Day, careers in music…
December:  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter, concert etiquette, student showcase from a concert, ways to give the gift of music…
January:  winter, New Year, Martin Luther King Day, snow, sledding, icy sports, winter games…
February: Valentine’s Day, Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, Black History Month, jazz, blues…
March: Music in Our Schools Month, music advocacy, St. Patrick’s Day, student showcase, music and visual arts…
April:  Spring, music and poetry, nature, Earth Day, recycling, countdown to summer, celebrate student musicians
May: Spring, countdown to summer, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, a look back on the year…
June:  summer, graduation, Father’s Day, beach, swimming, camping, amusement parks
July:  Independence Day, fireworks, BBQ, sailing and boating, vacation, world music…
Step 2:  Sketch it Out
Take a few minutes to make a quick sketch of what you’d like to do with your bulletin board.  You can start from scratch or browse some amazing bulletin boards at www.musicbulletinboards.net or at TeachersPayTeachers.   Try using this bulletin board planning sheet to help you organize your ideas.
Here are a few of my sketches and the finished bulletin boards.  They don’t always work out quite like I plan, but with a plan I always have a place to start.

August:  Back to School bulletin board.  I was looking for something eye-catching that would get students talking about music.  Bonus if it makes me look cool!
Finished project was close to the original.  This bulletin board kit is available here.  The pool noodle light sabers were inspired by several different blogs.  Mine are quite simple compared to some of the elaborate ones you can google.

Next is a bulletin board that I created to leave up all year.  I used it above my supply table that stores pencils, paper, folders, etc...

This was a little tricky.  I tried several different things to keep this up.  Eventually I discovered that good old masking tape was the best choice.  Who knew?  This is also now available as a kit you can download

I adopted the hall bulletin board at one of my schools.  In addition to celebrating music, I like to create bulletin boards with  a character education theme.  The topic for this one was bullying.

October is such a fun time to make bulletin boards.  I often have a hard time picking a theme.

These pumpkins are from Oriental Trading.  Although I didn't use it for this board, this board inspired the Percussion Patch bulletin board kit.
Brrrrr!  The winter months offer many themes for bulletin boards and many opportunities to teach through classroom displays.  For this board I wanted to focus on careers in music.  There's no business like SNOW business!

Ah!  The end of the year can be a time to countdown the days until summer break, celebrate successes and look back on the year.  This board does it all.  It's also quite a conversation starter!

The countdown sheets are a part of my This Year Rocked kit.  I took great joy in changing them every morning and some of the students really looked forward to the countdown.  The pictures were from all through the year including a concert the week before.  I love seeing all these joyous faces making music!
Step 3:  Prep as Much as You Can
Download, print, cut, laminate…what kinds of things can you do in advance?  Do it.  Put these pieces in a file folder with your planning sheet.  Refer to the sketch when you are ready to display.  In the last year or two I purchased a personal laminator to use at home.  I love it.  I love it so much!  I often laminate my stuff at home just because I think its fun!  :-)
I hope that these tips will help you create a beautiful and inviting classroom.  A little bit of planning can save time and stress later.  Speaking of planning…click through the rest of this blog hop to find more tips about planning for success in your classroom.  Click all the way through back to this blog to make sure you don't miss a single tip!


  1. LOVE the planning sheet. Will be using this a LOT. Just for fun, which home laminator did you purchase? :)

    1. I have a Scotch Thermal Laminator (2 roller system). It was $25-30 and the laminating sheets are reasonable. I've also seen blog posts on using the laminating sheets without a laminator. They use an iron instead! I'm intrigued! LOL.