Bulletin Boards

There are 2 bulletin boards outside the counseling office on either side of the door. The goal is to swap out at least one of the bulletin boards every month. If I can reuse and recycle previous bulletin boards I am able to swap them out monthly. The boards are designed to "publicize" the counseling program and the main themes of classroom lessons. I try to develop 2 bulletin boards a year that feature student work for a grade level. Students love to point out their own work! Each program/grade level also had to take a month to do the 2 bulletin board display in the main hallway of the school. Every year the counseling program does a welcome bulletin board with pictures of new staff and new students in grades 1-5.
This is my tenth year at my school and in addition to RAMPing twice we are committed to marketing the counseling program. Bulletin boards are a great tool for that especially in a school like our which has parents in the building every day. As the only full-time counselor most of these ideas are mine but I have had help from interns, part-time counselors, other student services team members, and a main parent volunteer (and a few other parents). My main parent volunteer is now our school based substitute so I feel better that most of the time she helps me with these she is actually getting paid, although she frequently comes early or stays late to do them. Feel free to "borrow" any of these!

Bulletin Boards in Main Hallway of School

Welcome New Staff and Students (September)
Look Who Has Been Spotted
Depending on the number of new students and staff, some years we have to join our 2 large bulletin boards together with paper so we can display all our new community members. On this one the students and staff have a different "bug" angle to make it easier to tell them apart. We now have a committee of parents who comes once a month to swap out these main hallway boards. Each program has to give them what they want displayed. These volunteers allow me to focus on preparing strong evidence-based lessons, not spending hours in the hallways putting up these boards!

Mirror Mirror...Who's New

My psychologist made the sign for the middle area between these 2 large boards. We framed our new students and staff to help people get to know their names and faces.  The staff are 3-D.  We covered small dessert paper plates with aluminum foil and then added the printed silver frame.  This bulletin board is a team effort.

Mirror Mirror New Knights
To update our theme "Mirror Mirror On the Wall Who Is New At Nottingham This Fall" we used 6 "mirrors" with aluminum foil backgrounds and cut out of knights with feathers at the top of each for visual interest.  We took the photos of our new students holding a sign with their name written (a laminated frame that we could erase and reuse for each child).  y.

Bulletin Boards Outside Counseling Office 

Goals (September)
In the first counseling classroom lesson in grade 5 each student writes a goal on an arm cutout that depicts their goal for the year. I try to emphasize growth not grades. It goes along with developing a growth mindset. The students stop by and read the goals and at the end of the month I give them back to take home and post. We added some yellow stars with the word goals for visual interest. This display highlighted the theme promoted by Michele Obama "Reach Higher!"

Attendance Awareness Month (September)

Our students are supposed to arrive at 8:50 so they can get themselves to class and stow their gear by 9:00. We use the motto from the Attendance Works website.  The digital clocks are covered boxes to give the 3D effect and they have stick on googly eyes which the kids love! We use the same letters and clocks each year and just change the background. This year we added Smart Phones to check time and some QR codes that go to articles on the importance of attendance. I like seeing parents outside my office scanning the codes and saving article to read later!

Introduce Counselors and/or Student Services Staff and Roles (September)

This is the bulletin board we did this year to explain "Whoo" a student can talk to about various topics. At the bottom of the tree are two owls with the names of the two school counselors. Creating the tree with texture is easy just using the paper rolls of bulletin board paper wrinkled up and stapled into place. The owls were cut out of foam sheets and decorated with sharpie and feathers. I borrowed the idea for this display from another counselor but unfortunately I did not write down her name or school. This year Staples has lots of owl accessories that could be used for a quicker version of this board.

The Helping Tree

Who Are We?

This bright board was created by our school psychologist and school social worker to introduce the pupil services staff and explain what each person does at school. The pockets have brochures that describe our roles, the school counseling program, and our Intervention Assistance Team on which we all serve.

This year we had a new part-time counselor and school social worker so we redid it and used cute owl cut outs to play on "Who" we are... We put it up the first week of school so that parents could see it at Back-to-School Night in September and Parent-Teacher Conferences in October.  We were a big school with lots of staff, so it helped to include photographs of the members of the pupil services team on this board.  

I Can Bee (October)

The last full week in October is Character Counts Week.  To get students to know the names of the six character traits we teach our parent volunteer constructed this wonderful 3-D display.  The bees have wings made out of a flexible fabric, pipe cleaner antennae and legs, and are mounted on wire so they look like they are flying on the tissue paper flowers.  The stems are paper covered wrapping paper rolls.

Connecting the Pieces of Good Character (October)
This bulletin board used pre-cut foam pieces with the names of the 6 pillars of character and two descriptors for each character trait. This was displayed for Character Counts Week.  I needed to cut one set from just a foam sheet because one of the traits used a color not included in the pre-cut pack.  My school psychologist made the banner for the title on the computer.  We used brown as a neutral background and four of the colors as border strips.  This board was both colorful and educational.

Character Counts! (October)

This bulletin board reinforced the 6 character traits and was appealing to our students. One of my interns did this board.

Spookley The Legend of the Square Pumpkin (October)

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The Spookley books (available from Scholastic) and the videos (Cartoon Network) teach the important message that we should appreciate differences. The letters spelling Spookley are Die Cuts mounted on construction paper pumpkins.  The trees are from die cuts too.  Spookley is 3-D using a lightweight box.  The tissue paper grass and leaves provide more depth.  This is my bulletin board with a plug right below so we added a strand of fall color lights to the pumpkin patch.  On the left you see the schedule Spookley aired during the month of October.  Students came in after each airing to say they had got to watch Spookley and tell me about the story.  Spookley also has a Thanksgiving book so we left it up until Thanksgiving.  

It Just Takes One (October)

I used to read One by Otoshi in my third grade bullying lesson in October but when our district decided all counselors must use the Second Step Bullying Unit I let the librarian use this book as part of our school-wide anti-bullying program (she reads a book at each grade level but is always on the lookout for a better read aloud for her classes). I am very fortunate she taught this because it is a perfect booster lesson on how students can REFUSE bullying. She had each student answer the question, "How will you be the one?" Luckily the counseling office is very near the library so I got to appreciate this display.

The 5Rs of Bullying (October)

This board displays the 5Rs taught in the Committee for Children Steps to Respect program we have used for years: recognize; refuse; report; record; and receive. The kites were made from craft sticks and tissue paper, the ties on the tails are tissue paper, and the kites are attached with thin wire.  For the tails to be 3D our creative parent volunteer who constructed this board covered wire with rafia.  The clouds are just puffs of white tissue paper and the red birds are just construction paper cut outs.

Relational Aggression (October)

This bulletin board shows the cycle of relational aggression. RA occurs when fear, security, popularity and power are used to coerce control. Before we switched to Second Step this reflected the fifth grade bullying lesson. Mounting the key terms on boxes gave a nice 3D effect and made them pop! 

National Adoption Month (November)

This display shows the 3 parts of the adoption triangle. It also features some great books on the topic. Check out this resource /www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/

Emotions (November with Empathy Lessons or in March)

My school psychologist made the circles and people to go with this great Dr. Suess book. We have reused them several times with a variety of backgrounds, sometimes when we are teaching emotions and empathy in the fall. One year we used them for "Book Your Door" in March. 
We added the animals in the book and used the bulletin board in March 2017 in conjunction with Dr. Seuss birthday. We use a cardboard tab behind the colored people to make the board more 3-D (they pop out about 1-1/2 inches from the board. The nice thing about this board is when we take it down it can be stored in a large manila envelope and put away for 2 years until we want to reuse it. 

Types of  Feelings (November)

Now that we are using the Second Step we teach comfortable and uncomfortable feelings. This bulletin board was adapted from Roseanne Sartori's book Counseling on the Wall which makes is so fast to do bulletin boards. You print out the balloons and sign from the CD that comes with the book published by Marco. I cut out a picture of Joy from Inside Out to hold the balloons with pleasant feelings, added some tissue paper clouds and a white border. The year Inside Out came was released fwe included Joy at the control panel.

Gratitude (November)
As part of our theme of Empathy from Second Step we also incorporate Gratitude from the MindUp curriculum. This cute turkey displays a feather from each of our second graders expressing gratitude to someone who normally is not appreciated like the "Lunch Lady" or mom for packing lunches...

iHelp (Several months just swapping Apps)

We have adopted the "iHelp" theme for our school counseling program this and have gone with an iPad as template for most of our materials.  Our school is piloting a one to one devise program in our second grade this year and we want to be modeling using tools for the 21st century.  We are also sticking to using blue and gold as the colors for most of what we do to specifically emphasize it is from the counseling program. This bulletin board template was constructed by our parent volunteers to be easy to reuse (the iPad is laminated). We thought the "plus" was a cute eye catching addition. In September we used it to introduce the Student Services staff, in October we switched it to support bullying awareness, in February we promoted Kindness, and in May we are promoting College and Career Readiness.  The last 3 are all icons of real Apps.

We're All Unique (December - January)

Counselors are always celebrating uniqueness.  What better way to celebrate diversity than with snowflakes.  This bulletin board was made special by the stand of simple white lights.  I had never used the plug right below the board before but it did up the wow factor.  I also hung some kid made snowflakes from the ceiling in front to the board to give it more depth.  The snow person is simply the 3 sizes of copy paper folded in accordion style and put together to form circles. We went with pompom ear muffs because there was no room for a hat and this could be more gender neutral.  The tiny scarf was made by one of our assistant elves. We left it up for January.

Bright Ideas (January)

This upbeat new year's theme bulletin board features some good ideas and some cute fluorescent light bulbs.  I just made a template by copying a Google image of a bulb I liked, cut our a dozen from white cardstock, and covered the base with aluminum foil to make them realistic.  I also added a few lines with sharpie to make the screw marks.  The neon colored letters make it very bright.

We should accept differences until differences make no difference (January)

In January we emphasize diversity awareness and service to go along with Martin Luther King Day. I send home a family heritage and diversity interview 2 weeks ahead of the lesson. The students select the color paper to use for their hand. They decorate each finger and palm with pictures that illustrate their background and unique strengths. 

Choose Kindness (January - February)

This board highlights some of the books used in class lessons on optimism and kindness and others for older readers on the topic.

The great thing about crossword puzzle bulletin boards if you laminate the background you can swap out the words and reuse for other themes. We use this one in January/February to promote No Name Calling Week and our kindness theme.

Spread Kindness (February)
Brain research shows that performing, receiving, and observing acts of kindness all produce "happy" chemicals. The lesson taught by the counselor in the classroom in February are from the MindUp curriculum by the Hawn Foundation.

Kindness Tree (February)
Here is our beautiful Kindness Tree: Acts of Kindness Make Me Bloom adorned with the hearts our kindergarten and first grade students did in response to this month's lesson on kindness. The kindergarten students made a pink heart with an act of kindness for their family to take home and a red heart with an act of kindness to do at school that is displayed. The first graders drew and labeled acts of kindness for home, school, and the community. The 3D tree and the roots are burlap.

Kindness Counts (February)
This bulletin board features the cut outs of the hands of students in grades K-5 that are in groups with the counselors.  It is great to display kid work but I did not want their names on them since they were done in the counseling office.  Kindness out theme for February (lessons in the classroom are from the MindUp curriculum). In tier 2 group I reinforce the theme by reading a book about kindness and then had each student say something kind they do and draw it on the palm of their hand.  I let them know it is going to be displayed in the hall (which they all like). My favorite book is "Each Kindness" by J. Woodson, a powerful book about how each small act of kindness makes the world a better place.  It works for grades 2-5.  For my K-1 students I read "Kindness to Share from A to Z" by T. Snow.  Another book for grades 1-2 is "Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler"  by M. Cuyler.  I used red paper and a red heart border for the background and pink letters for the theme.  I offered students the option to make a pink or white hand then arranged them in alternating rows around a bright red sparkling heart in the center.  Students stop several times a day to find where their hand is and admire the acts of kindness.

If You Want a Friend Be a Friend (February - March)
We started with an idea about using cupcakes to show friendship skills but then our outstanding volunteer had the idea since it was February to do a heart shaped box of sweets.  She actually painted the strategies (like share) on the chocolate cupcakes and added others to the Kisses papers. The red cellophane paper, cute letter (die cut), foam glitter covered hearts, and sparkling red border made it so sweet!

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
This board encourages changing thoughts from fixed to growth mindset thinking. The pictures of the kids make it very interesting. We added a QRCode that goes to an article for staff and parents on promoting growth mindset.


This is another easy bulletin board adapted from Counseling On The Wall! (Sartori) published by MAR*CO.  I used my shiny red border and the quotes and title poster from the CD.  The first time I displayed this board I used blue background and silver stars, a few years later I reused it with a black background and multicolor glitter stars. I save my boards and reuse most of them on a three year cycle.
Just wanted to show another one that I took from Counseling On the Wall! I used the border that was provided on the CD. I normally don't print the borders because it takes a lot of color ink but I did for this one.

What is in your future?
The top half of this board is a collage showing a wide variety of careers.  The idea was children in all grades should be thinking about their future.  My wonderful volunteer laminated the collage so it can be reused.  The kids were foam cut-outs.

College and Career Awareness

This was a fun bulletin board my part-time co-counselor and I created. The background is a collage of cut up college brochures.  I recommend you cut butcher paper to fit, glue them on, and laminate because it can be reused.  We also laminated the cards with pictures of  college graduates our students would know (trying to highlight several from our own state universities). The person's name and occupation is on the front of the card with a picture, inside is the name of the university. we laminated the banner too because we recycle successful bulletin boards every 2-3 years.

Reuse the Background

After a month I took down the famous graduates and simply displayed some of our growing collection of banners.  We try to highlight a lot of schools in our state.  Two parents stopped to tell me which of the school's featured they attended because it is where their relationship started.  They then looked at every picture in the background to see which were from their school. I have had teachers donate banners from their colleges and gotten others at conferences for free.

THINK Postsecondary

I had covered this background up for two months but left it up to reuse one more time.  I want students to understand there are options besides college after high school.  I did a straight "path" showing our Elementary school (first block at bottom), Middle school, and High School.  Then I left a space and gave the four choices for postsecondary education: community college, vocational school, military (I showed symbols for 5 services but it would have been nice to include the Guard too), and college.  I put the header off center so I could add a step for advanced studies.  I refer to the board in my career lessons in grades 2-5.  I think the board conveys the message K-16 (it would be Pre-K to 16 but our school does not have any preschool).

Education Now = Good Jobs Later
This bulletin board was also taken from my favorite "Counseling on the Wall" by Roseanne Sartori.  She actually visited my school and got to see this adaption in person.  There are good quotes about education and the future.  I chose not to use the border with school buses provided in the book because I just wanted something simple for the end of the year.

Enticing Careers

This bulletin board was a thank you to all the community and parent volunteers who share their careers with our students throughout the year. We put it up at the end of March and just keep adding plates with pictures of visitors as they present.  The counselors take the pictures of the Career Cafe visitors in grades 3-5 and the classroom teachers take a picture of the career visitors to classes in K-2. Our goal is for every student to have the opportunity to learn about 4-6 careers directly from someone in that occupation each year. Everyone who comes in the building enjoys reading what jobs are represented on the board.  Each plate is labeled with the presenters name and occupation.

I Moustache You
My part-time counselor has a little boy who likes mustaches (other spelling).  We were going to title it I "Must Ask" You but we decided to go with this header because our young ones would not get the play on words.  The colored paper stips are just recycling from another project (go green - reuse). Each moustache has a problem solving strategy we teach in our classroom lessons like "Be assertive."

The Ideal Community in 10 Years
This bulletin board displays the first graders vision of what they would like to see in their community in 10 years.  We talk about what is good in our community and what we would like to see changed.  These young, idealistic tree loving kids want all high school students to walk or ride bikes to school, plant more trees in the parks, everyone recycles, etc. The title is on tissue paper clouds and we just used some pre-cut sparkle blue letters.

Problem Solving

We use Second Step to teach the 4 STEP problem-solving model to all our students K-grade 5. The kids enjoy seeing this 3-D replica of the model. It was easier to just do a generic boy and girl legs and feet than figure out how to show a balance of ethnicity.
To supplement the Second Step materials we use children's literature to review the problem-solving STEPs. This board shows some of the books we use most frequently in classes and in small groups.

Mental Health Awareness (May)

This board displays the frequency of children in our state who have mental illness. We display it every year and just change the layout for appeal. Green is the color Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to bring the idea that many children (and more adults) face these challenges and to destigmatize mental illness. We teach the NAMI lesson Breaking the Silence btslessonplans.org/

Bust It! Myths about Mental Health (May)

The School Psychologist at my school did this for National Mental Health Month a few years ago.  The bubble wands made it very cute!

I Don't Want to Do One More Bulletin Board! (June)
Staff and students both enjoyed adding to this as we spend 3 weeks in school in June!

This is the Bulletin Board inside my office. We use Second Step for Tier 1 for both social and emotional learning and the Bullying Unit. I leave this up all year to have available to reinforce the key teaching points with groups and individuals. I just change the cut outs for each season: apples for fall, turkeys in November, snowflakes in Dec-Jan, hearts in February, etc.