## Wednesday, September 19, 2012

### Seasonal Bulletin Board Ideas for the Math Classroom

Now that school is back in session, bulletin boards can help display information and add a touch of creativity to your math classroom. Even if you start with a basic board or just a wall, you can easily modify it every month or two to reflect the changing seasons and holidays. You may want to place one of the the bulletin board displays on your classroom door or in the hallway just outside your room so it will catch the children's interest as they enter. If you don't actually have a bulletin board in your classroom, use part of a wall or the side of a filing cabinet. You can even hang decorations from your ceiling.

For additional math bulletin board ideas, read our previous post, "Bulletin Board Ideas for the Math Classroom" and our newer post, New Year Bulletin Board Ideas for the Math Classroom  (including ideas for January, February and March).

Some simple seasonal bulletin board ideas include the following. Click on the links to download patterns for each bulletin board. Use foam or small pieces of folded cardboard to give a 3-D effect to the displays. For a tactile board, use cotton balls for clouds, fabric for the backdrop, and textured borders.

September:
 Math Stars Bulletin Board from Excel Math
Create a star-studded bulletin board to encourage your students to learn or review their math facts. Cut stars from yellow cardboard so you have plenty of stars for the math problems plus one star for each student in your class. Leave some stars blank (as shown) so the students can tell you those answers or can write them down during your math warm-up time. Students who answer a certain number of problems correctly can place a star with their name on the board. If you laminate the stars, you can print the numbers on them and then wipe them off and reuse them over and over again. Problems can change daily or weekly to alternate between multiplication, division, fact families, multiplication with decimals, addition with fractions,etc. For additional equations to include on your boards, use some of the problems from the Basic Math Facts portion of the Excel Math Student Lesson Sheets.

October:
 Pumpkin Patch Bulletin Board from Excel Math
Change your bulletin board into a pumpkin patch of math problems for October. Print out the pumpkin patterns below. On each pumpkin write math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, fractions) or whatever concepts you're studying. Leave some pumpkins blank. Laminate the blank ones so students can write their answers on the blanks and then wipe them off and start again the next day.

November:
 Turkey Talk Bulletin Board from Excel Math
Highlight positive character traits with this turkey bulletin board. Back the Turkey Pattern with a colorful paper plate. Also print a turkey for each student. Print the Feather Patterns and write a positive trait on each feather. Make some math feathers such as, "addition whiz," "multiplication genius," "subtraction superstar," etc.  Place egg patterns with numbers or problems on them around the turkey.  You can also glue pieces of fringed paper, straw, sandpaper, or hay at the bottom of the board for added texture.

Give each student a turkey pattern to cut out. (Have them cut off the feathers and give them back to you or just leave them on and add more feathers as they learn math facts.) Let the students glue their turkeys to paper plates. Make extra feathers so you'll have enough for each student to have several. Watch for a student who exhibits any of these traits and award that child with a feather to glue onto his turkey. Try to make sure each student gets one or two feathers each week during the month. Students who can recite math facts can earn multiple math feathers.

December:
Print the Math Gift Tags from the pattern and write a math problem on each tag. For younger students, the problems might be simple addition or subtraction equations. Middle elementary students might have problems involving carrying (such as those on some of the tags). Upper elementary and middle school students might have problems with decimals, fractions, percentages, etc. Tape the tags around the top and sides of the bulletin board. You may want to add colorful ribbon to the tags for a festive feel. Collect small gift boxes and bags of all shapes and colors. Print a number on each box or bag (each number will be an answer to one or more of the problems on the gift tags).
 Gifts of the Season Bulletin Board from Excel Math

Staple the gift boxes and bags to your bulletin board. Allow the lids to be opened (wrap the lid separately from the box) or cut a slit in the boxes. Leave the bags open. Give each student several blank gift tags or index cards. Let the students print their names on the back of each of tag (card). Have them print the first problem on one gift tag and then place the tag in the box or bag with the correct answer. Encourage students to solve as many problems as they can. This can be an extra credit activity or just a fun way to review math facts. Review the correct answers with the students before adding new problems to the board.

Do you have some creative bulletin board ideas you've used in your own classroom? Leave a comment below and we'll do our best to include them in a future blog. Learn more about Excel Math on our website: excelmath.com.