Well, the idea of setting up my third classroom in seven years has me in a bit of panic. This is only because of the last two classrooms I inherited. My previous two classrooms were passed on to me by two amazing, veteran teachers. Both had been in that specific classroom for nearly thirty years before retiring. This meant that I inherited a wealth of great teaching juju, but also a very old classroom that had not been updated in a VERY long time. The carpets were stained, the cabinets were chipped (if painted at all), the linoleum floors were peeling up on the corners, and the bulletin boards (if you could even call them that!) made you want to close your eyes and back away.
Today I want to show you how to breathe life back into those old chalkboards & cork boards. You know the ones I mean… the chalkboard is covered in tape residue and permanent marker, the cork board boasts 8 different shades from fade marks, and is littered with staples! Let me present you with Exhibit A:
Now, I know it’s hard to look past the stacks boxes, the dilapidated bookshelves, and the orange fabric walls, but I really want you to focus on the space that was claiming to my “bulletin board.” This particular “bulletin board” was actually three separate panels. Two of these were magnetic chalkboards, and the one to the far right (underneath the ghastly green paper) was a cork board.
When I first looked at this wall my stomach dropped, my shoulders lifted towards my ears, I closed my eyes and shuddered. It was appalling! How was I supposed to create bulletin board eye candy with this thing?!? I wanted to cry!
Well, I didn’t cry. Instead I went to the hardware store and purchased the following items: (If you inherit a board that looks similar to this, take this down!)
- Goo Gone Pro Power Spray Gel
- Latex Cleaning Gloves
- 1-1/2 Inch Razor Scraper
- 2 Inch Angled Paint Brush
- Foam Mini Rollers
- Min Roller Fram
- Small Paint Tray
- Small Can of Chalkboard Paint
This stuff is AMAZING! If you haven’t used it before, it pretty much does exactly what it says: Spray it, and your Goo is Gone!
Wait at a few hours between coats. Even though it may feel dry to the touch after an hour, give it a bit longer to set and dry all of the way through.
Since you will need to do more than one coat (dark colors almost always need at least two coats to fully cover) I suggest grabbing some extra rollers. You DO NOT want to reuse these rollers. Although sometimes you can get away with putting a plastic bag over rollers when using latex paint on your walls, you don’t want to do that here. Any little dried crumb of paint will adhere to your otherwise smooth surface and will stick out like a sore thumb! Grab a new roller with each coat! (Don’t forget, a new coat means edging again too!)
Let’s take a look again at the old boards before the transformation:
And after the scraping and painting (don’t mind the green… I was trying out paint chip walls!)
See how much the bulletin board stands out now? It can now be a focus point of the wall, rather than something you wish would just disappear. The best part about black boards? Everything stands out on them!
This was my Visual Math Word Wall last year, and as you can see, all I have up is white card stock… but it doesn’t matter because the colors pop on the black background. No need for backing student work anymore! It stands out on its own (of course you still can if you REALLY want to!)
Well, I hope you found this little tutorial helpful! Please hop on over to all of the other blogs that are linking up today to get more helpful tips for setting up your classroom bulletin boards. Thank you for stopping by!
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