Bulletin Boards with CALF Appeal

Many teachers use bulletin boards to decorate the classroom, to define classroom goals and policies, or to showcase student work, but bulletin boards can also be interactive teaching tools. Acting as “another teacher” in the classroom, bulletin boards that change periodically can reflect and complement new lessons, help visual learners better understand new material, reinforce new words and concepts, and challenge students to participate.

When you design a bulletin board, think of the acronym CALF, which will enable you to readily recall the four most important bulletin board components: Credit, Action, Learning, and Fun (CALF).  A bulletin board that works as a teaching tool should count for credit to encourage students to interact with it.  It should also feature an interactive component, some fun activity that will not only engage students but support the learning of content concepts or vocabulary.

For example, you might dedicate a bulletin board in your classroom to introduce a new literary term or a content vocabulary word to your students each week.  Displaying the term on the bulletin board with its definition on Monday and then inviting students to add Post-it® notes or to affix some other “sharing tag” around the definition with their own examples of the term in use—whether in movies, music, novels, comics, news, or commercials—by Friday reinforces not only the term’s use but its prevalence in worlds beyond the classroom.  On Friday, you might assess their postings by awarding them with participation or weekly quiz points.  For setting, you might provide arrow-shaped signs for students, inviting them to respond to the question: Where will your reading take you this week?  Their signs will reflect the setting of whatever book they are currently reading: Camp Green Lake; Hogwarts; the Shire; Forks, Washington.

The sign to the left would also make a good focal point for a bulletin board—whether you use it during the celebration of Banned Books Week, September 23-29 in 2018, or during some other time.  Students could then write on a sticky note, the title and author of a book that fits the sign's description, and add it to the bulletin board, or the invitation might prompt them to compose a Tweet of how a book changed their lives.

The ideas for bulletin boards with CALF appeal are limitless!

Comments are closed.