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One of my tasks as an elementary art teacher is to create fantastic displays in the hallway for my school community to enjoy. Sometimes I use volunteers to help me hang up the artwork and sometimes I take charge of the hallway displays myself. I’ve found over the years that there are 3 things every art display needs on the bulletin board in order to truly make it shine. Check out the suggestions below to see if you might be able to snag one of these ideas.
For my first several years of teaching, I rarely had students frame their artwork. At that point in time, it seemed like a waste of paper. I’ve found, though, that framing the artwork gives it a finishing touch. My students are the ones who frame their pieces and I use that time to talk about good craftsmanship. Another framing bonus is that if a corner gets torn by a rogue staple, the only casualty is the frame and not the art.
I’ve never been a huge fan of writing names on the front of students’ artwork. To remedy that, this year I typed out each student’s name on a name card template. I printed those in color on cardstock and laminated them. The name cards were cut and sorted in class envelopes. Now, whenever I hang up artwork for a particular class I simply find the correct envelope and staple the name card by the art. (Tip: My oldest students don’t have name cards because they fill out artist statements instead.)
Even though you might be able to look at an artwork and understand immediately the processes that were used, not everyone can. To help others understand, I started to create learning statements that accompany each project the students make. These learning statements showcase the techniques and processes that students used and often include a picture. If you want to get even fancier, you can incorporate technology by adding a QR code. Anyone with a smart device can scan the code and learn more about the artwork. (Tip: I often create QR codes that will send the scanner to a website about the artist we studied or a YouTube video showing the techniques.)
Those 3 simple tricks have given my bulletin boards a more polished look. They require a little extra time but keep in mind both student name cards and learning statements can be used the following year.
What tricks do you use to make your bulletin boards shine?
Do you use any of the 3 suggestions listed above, how have they worked for you?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.