Looking for free/inexpensive materials that’ll bring life to drab classroom walls and bulletin boards? (Yes, I’m assuming we’ll have some sort of physical space to share with students this fall.) Let’s get scrolling…

1. This Day in Arts & Letters (new item just posted this weekend!)
Built with the interests of teens in mind, I folded 365 factoids into this set of 12 month-at-a-glance calendars with the aim of hooking students’ attention and maybe even inspiring them to want to learn more about the people and works mentioned.

ThisYear

2. Famous Failures Interactive Bulletin Board
Life is hard and we will fail. It’s what we do next that determines the quality of our lives. That’s the message I hope kids take from this bulletin board that celebrates the growth mindset of famous figures who weren’t defeated by early failures. My kids liked the first set of 24 and asked for more, so I built a second set available here.

FamousFailures

3. Epic Opening Lines
You know when you read the first paragraph of a novel and can’t help but keep going? Yeah, I turned that experience into a bulletin board designed to introduce teens to a variety of books/authors. You know it’s a good display when kids show up at the next SSR Friday with one of these titles.

cover1

4. Great Last Lines
This companion to the Epic Opening Lines board was inspired by Pudge, the protagonist of John Green’s Looking for Alaska who’s a bit obsessed with the last words of famous people. I thought, A lot of books do a great job with this, too. The result? Another interactive bulletin board to promote great books to our kids.

cover1

5. Parts of Speech Posters
I knew I was in trouble when I used the word, “adverb,” during a MUG Shot Monday grammar session and my freshmen stared back with cold, dead eyes. Yes, they’d been taught the parts of speech since elementary school, but retention was…um…weak. I went looking for a set of parts of speech posters to refer to during our grammar work, but everything I found was super babyish, nothing I’d post on my high school English classroom walls. The fix? I made my own and you can have ’em, too.

PartsofSpeechPosters

6. Inspirational Quotes/Conversation Starters
I prefer to use these as scrolling screensavers on classroom computers, but you could also print them in color and cover an ugly corner of your classroom.

InspirationalQuotes

7. The Movie vs. The Book Posters
Just a really cool poster. I love these. I printed the 18 x 24-inch option at our district’s media center and laminated them. They’ve lasted for years.

BookvsMoviePosters

8. Tearable Puns
Teens pretend to hate puns, but evidence shows they actually love them because these Tearable Pun slips disappear quickly and I spot them being used as bookmarks and binder decoration. I have 101 teen-appropriate puns on nine PDF pages. Print a bunch on different colored paper because your kids are going to go through a lot of ’em.

Alright, friends! No matter what your fall semester looks like, I hope these items make whatever physical space you’re given a bit more inviting. Teach on, everyone.

Bulletin board background credit: Pixabay, Public domain

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Hey Laura!

    I am a first-year freshman English teacher, and I was wondering if you could share some insight as to how I should plan my curriculum. I plan on purchasing your full-year unit; however, given the CDC and health guidelines, I have concerns with providing in-class and virtual lessons. I really want to implement your schedule and stations and management, but I’m feeling lost and overwhelmed. Any suggestions?

    Best, Amber Humphrey

    >

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  2. Welcome to the Lost and Overwhelmed Club, Amber! You’re far from alone. Many of us (me, included) have no idea what the next academic year will look like and I haven’t ever led an online class, so I’m standing right next to you wondering how all of this is going to work. I pride myself on having solutions for my secondary peeps, but this is a time where there are no set solutions or easy fixes. One piece of good news is that all of the curriculum we already have can be modified for online instruction, whether that’s through Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Schoology, etc. Friend-of-the-blog Amy Almada has an easy and free workaround that’ll allow you to turn any of my PDFs into interactive worksheets that you can share with students on whatever secured online classroom platform your new district uses. Just follow the simple step-by-step directions that she shows us here (note: she focuses on Google apps, but the same process applies to PowerPoint or KeyNote): https://laurarandazzo.com/2020/03/30/easy-turn-a-pdf-into-a-google-worksheet-no-add-on/

    This should get you up and running in no time. Hope this helps as we all figure out our transition to the world of e-learning. Hang in there and know you’re not alone!
    🙂 Laura

    Like

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bulletin board, communication, fun stuff, growth mindset, high school English, middle school, Uncategorized

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