Interactive bulletin boards really draw students’ attention! Add one simple element to your display and see how kids respond.
Ms. Sneed Wants an Interactive Bulletin Board
Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, absentmindedly tapped her pencil on the table.
“What are you thinking about?” asked her teaching partner, Mr. Frank.
“Well, I want to make a bulletin board for my heat energy unit. When we studied light, I displayed pages of trade books, and that was all well and good. Then for sound I used clip art, which was cute. But I’m tired of just decorating. Instead, I’d like something interactive.”
“What about those lift-up flaps? You could put the science term on the front. Then the students could lift up for the definition. It’s great for studying.”
“No… I want something with more wow. I’ve been thinking about the three main ways heat transfers: conduction, convection, and radiation. What if kids could see them in action?”
Now Mr. Frank began the absentminded tapping. Suddenly his pencil stopped. “Hey! I know! You could put some of that heat-sensing paper on your board. When kids touch it, it turns different colors in response to the temperature of their hands.”
Ms. Sneed’s eyes gleamed. “That’s just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for.” She hurried to her computer and did a quick search. “Here it is. Liquid crystal sheet. It’s a little pricey, but I can use it over and over.”
“We could even split the price,” said Mr. Frank. “Then cut it in two. That way, I could have an interactive bulletin board too.”
The Teachers Create an Interactive Bulletin Board
A few days later the liquid crystal sheet arrived. Naturally, the two teachers wanted to try it out.
“Look at this!” exclaimed Ms. Sneed. As she held the sheet by the corners, colors spread from her fingers. “The kids are going to love this!”
She handed the sheet to Mr. Frank. “Look what happens when I put it by the window.” He walked around the classroom and held the sheet on various surfaces. A grin spread across his face as it changed colors.
After a few minutes, Ms. Sneed snapped her fingers. “Hey! Enough playing. Let’s get down to work.”
Using energy clip art from Educlips, they quickly created a three-part bulletin board set featuring conduction, convection, and radiation. After they printed it out, they cut the circular pieces. Soon, they were ready to hang their interactive bulletin boards.
“This should fit perfectly on my new bulletin board,” said Mr. Frank. “It’s 48 inches wide and 36 inches tall.”
“Yep,” responded Ms. Sneed. “I’m going to hang mine on that wall.”
The Students Try It Out
When the bell rang the next day, Mr. Frank’s students filed in. “Hey! What’s that?” someone said.
The kids hurried toward the interactive bulletin board. “What’s that thing in the middle?” asked one. But as he stuck his hand out to touch it — “Whoa!”
Everyone crowded around and tried it out. “Look what happens when I breathe on it,” said a girl with braided hair.
“Conduction in action,” said Mr. Frank. “Heat transfers from your warm breath to the liquid crystal sheet.”
“And you can actually see it,” said a boy waiting his turn with the interactive bulletin board.
Mr. Frank smiled to himself. Yes, this display had that wow factor. And it made a great addition to his other thermal energy activities.
More Bulletin Boards
That year, Ms. Sneed experimented with different types of bulletin boards. For her light unit, she cut up trade books and asked students to read the wall. During the sound unit, she got creative with clip art. When the thermal energy unit rolled around, she added a liquid crystal sheet for an interactive bulletin board. Yes, Ms. Sneed was on a roll. She created a light-up electricity board, as well as a plant display with growing seeds. Our favorite fourth grade teacher was truly enjoying teaching.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.