Bulletin boards are a great way to welcome kids back to school. It makes them feel more at ease and helps them to get to know people within their new class. Teachers are always looking for new ideas, and these can be gathered very simply and made relevant to children of the age attending their new class. This is an established method which brings children together. If it is at all possible to plan the first day back as a day of introduction, enjoyment and getting to know one another, the bulletin board can be used as a combined project for all of the class.
Painting the board
To paint the bulletin board is simple. A grass background with bold daisies, with heads which are large enough to hold small photos is ideal. Each child’s name is put next to a flower, and the children asked to provide a photo of themselves so that they can be proud of their participation in the bulletin board’s introduction to a new year.
Constructing a bouquet
A bouquet with photos of all the children in the center of the flowers is colorful and enjoyable for the children. Tied with a fancy bow, the bulletin board can take center stage in welcoming the children back to the classroom. Another way to use a welcome back bulletin board and gain participation from all students is to draw out the flowers and have them cut out. Then get the children to help in the construction of the bouquet, coloring in all the flowers and petals in bright colors, and then crowning the bulletin board with their photographs.
End of summer vacation and back to school
A board can be constructed by children who can share all their stories of adventures during their vacation. It’s a great way to melt the ice and get children together with their little stories. Start with a blank bulletin board and huge letters across the top with Welcome Back to School. Then make cards which can be fixed to the bulletin board, asking each child to do illustrations and add photos or script saying what was best about the vacation.
Ideas and themes
Welcoming children back to the class calms them, and gets them ready for their new work. Perhaps they don’t know much about their new teacher. In this event, a bulletin board can be presented as a welcome giving kids an introduction to who their teacher is. Here, little snippets about the teacher help children to feel more relaxed in their new class. Much of the hardship of going back to school is the unknown factor. One corner of the bulletin board could be used to introduce the teacher, to make the process easier.
The kind of themes which are relevant can follow the lines of the coursework to be done in the coming term. A nice welcome back board can be simply painted with footsteps and little hints about where the school term will go. This is a neat idea so that children see at a glance their coming term and can use the bulletin board for more than just coming back, tracing the steps of their progress and getting the children involved in marking off those footsteps as they are taken. Footsteps boards are a great welcome back to studies for children and each one of the children can participate in the making of the board, so that they are aware of what’s ahead of them and can help the teacher make a great board showing what the different steps will be in this term.
The board should of course have a welcome sign on it, and the footsteps can be drawn in simple format. Then tell children to choose a card with a theme written on it, to cover the subject matter which will be covered and to draw a picture of what’s coming in the term. Each kid can add his or her photos and the bulletin board make a great reminder to those kids of their first day back at school, keeping the board relevant every day of class during that term.
For the artistic children
How about a project where each child draws a cartoon of how that child looks, rather than having a photo. It’s a fun project, and having the bulletin board all ready with blanks for where those faces will be placed, the children can each be given a cut out piece of paper to draw themselves. Similarly, if the teacher wants children to get to know each other, groups can be formed, and each draw a picture of another member in the group.
The purpose of a bulletin board of welcome at the beginning of a new term is to let children know that they have their own place within the class, and that the other children are all part of what makes that whole group. Teamwork is healthy, and bulletin boards with child participation encourage children to get together and start the term out on the right footing, each playing their part, no matter how little. Perhaps those less gifted could help put on the trimmings such a bows, sticky decorations or even help hang the bulletin board in its place for all the children to enjoy.
These are merely bulletin board ideas although they may spark off other ideas which are equally as valid for the children in the class, making those children feel at home and very welcome.