What do you fill the boards with? Forget the expensive kits for sale at teacher stores. Instead, make a collage of photos you take in your classroom throughout the year. Pull the pages from a yearly wall calendar and paste the school year months across the board as a long term project planner. For a fun feel, create a school spirit collage with pennants, a t-shirt, and other school store paraphernalia.
When posters get ragged, don't throw them away. Instead, cut out the key images and create a new collage poster. Try cutting the edges away with a paper cutter to make a smaller poster or frame it to remedy the edges.
Look in the aisles for decorations like yardsticks, measuring tape, and house numbers for a math classroom. Add a cheap metal mailbox by your door for exit slips or to distribute bell-ringers. Be creative, and think cheap. There's usually an economy version available that works perfectly for the classroom.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
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I don't know if other states do this, but I discovered something great in small-town Nebraska, of all places.
The library system for these towns has a die-cutting machine, which is loaned out to different libraries. I've been going up there every few days, and have made darling cut-outs perfect for decorating and bulletin boards. Everything from suns to Halloween pumpkins and shamrocks, even a wonderful Nebraska silhouette. (I bought a couple sheets of Nebraska Cornhuskers scrapbooking paper for that one, and the cut-outs look terrific!)
So ask your library, because you never know what sort of resources they can find for you!
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