A multipurpose interactive bulletin board

No matter how large or small a classroom is, there is always a new way to make the more out of your space.  My indoor classroom is relatively small and so it is important to use each area of our classroom to its maximum potential without it becoming cluttered or congested.  Today, I want to share with you our multipurpose interactive bulletin board…

Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

We have lots of large wonderful windows in our classroom which I love but this also means we only have limited amount of wall space.  I use the wall space wisely so to offer as much as I can to the children while still keeping our environment attractive.  On one wall we have what I refer to as our name or snack board doubled with our directions board.

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

At the bottom of the board, there is a line of pockets and each pocket has a child’s name on it.  We use this for the children to pull out their names throughout the day.  Each morning the children remove their name from their pocket and put it on our classroom attendance chart…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

On some days, the children put their names back in the pockets after they have eaten snack and on other days, the children put their names back into the pockets before they go home.  It all depends on the day…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

The top of the board is called our Directions Board.  It takes exactly 4 sheets of large construction paper to cover the top half of the board. I tape four sheets of construction paper together and create different sets of “directions” for the children to follow depending on the day and the activity planned for the table directly below the board.  Currently the board has our heart display which was shared last week on the blog…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

However, when we need the top of the board for a different display, we simply staple a new display right over the top of the heart display then take the new display down when we are done. Like the classroom map below, we only needed it up for an hour of our day…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

The reason I call the top of our board a directions board is because we have been working with the children on learning to “read” and follow simple directions by creating displays to add to the board.  The children are getting very good at following the directions on the board.  The processes that accompany the directions are open ended but there are always steps that can be given on the directions board to help the children understand what the process is all about…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

For the board above, we were working on drawing lines with a ruler.  The children made snowflakes but their snowflakes didn’t (and wasn’t expected) to turn out exactly like the one on the board. Since was our first time using the directions board, I did choose to show the complete process so the children understood how to read the directions and what the process looked like from beginning to end. It is important to note that the focus of the board is about reading and following directions – not controlling their freedom to explore.  If the children head off into a direction that wasn’t on the board – we go with it.  The children are given all the space they need to interpret the directions in their own way or with their own creative spin during the process..

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

With each new display I made for the Directions Board, I add different elements like numbers to identify steps in the correct order or complete sentences or different objects that illustrate what the directions are.  The children learn to start from the left side of the board and follow the steps to the right side (promoting left to right reading progression) and to look for clues as to what the words might say under or over each word (or sentence) on the board (deductive reasoning or predictable print)…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

During morning circle, we do a brief review of the board. I ask the children to look at the board tell me what they think might be the first thing they are to do. For our students who are almost ready to read, we read the words aloud with them or for them. Those who are not readers, love to think they can read and always tell me what they think the words on the board say and for the most part, they get much of what the board says pretty darn close…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

For me personally, I love the directions board. It helps me think through how to share a process in simple steps and yet keep the process open ended so the children can interpret the process in their own way.  It also makes me prepare more completely for a process, think it through a bit, and make sure it is reasonable for the children to do entirely on their own…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

With each new display, the children are getting better and better at following the directions entirely on their own. The older children follow it easily, the younger children took about two weeks before they even remembered to look up and see that they could follow what was on the board.  I am also getting better at recognizing what to add and what not to add to the board so that it is all about the needs and abilities of the children in my class…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

Using a bulletin board for more than just one purpose can help those of you with smaller classrooms to do something extra for your students.  You just have to think outside the box a bit!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Bulletin Board Ideas on Pinterest

Taking the Word Wall Beyond the Wall by Teach Preschool

Parent Boards in the Preschool Classroom by Teach Preschool

By |2013-02-11T06:00:12+00:00February 11th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Robyn Fischer February 11, 2013 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Your classroom looks like so much fun! Engaging and child friendly~
    Are you hiring??? We need to work together again!
    I am so proud of you!! You have done an amazing job!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

      If you were in town I wouldn’t ever be hiring again because I would have you! I sure do miss you Robyn!

  2. Jan K February 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I love the directions board. Its like a rebus set of directions or rebus recipe. Thanks for making me think about another way to teach solutions.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      I am so happy you like it. We are enjoying the board and I love the challenge of making a new “recipe” for my children to explore:)

  3. Dawnna February 12, 2013 at 9:51 am - Reply

    I too have a wall space shortage. I dedicate my biggest wall to my art gallery because I find it is inspiring for me and my students. I love your interactive bulletin board, because it is purposeful not just pretty. Do you think a display like they sell for science fairs would be a good compromise for this? I have one bulletin board in my entryway dedicated to parents. Currently I use it to share parenting resources, but I have not been successful at getting them to look at it. So I need to revamp it, I don’t want to waste my time putting something up that has no purpose. Any suggestions?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Dawnna,
      In the past I have used science boards as a substitute for bulletin boards. But it is hard to leave them up and out throughout the classroom day, since they are not that sturdy. You want to add pockets or sleeves to hold your sentence strips or other displays so that you could make them interchangeable. Anything attached to the board with tape would probably tear the board. See this link to see a sample of one of my boards I’ve made in the past.


      This is just an example to show you how I use different materials to hold things on the board so I can switch them out as needed.

      As for your parents board, perhaps an idea would be to change the parent board to a “take-home” board. Design the board so it targets or attracts your students to look at the board but add materials to the board that are designed to promote fun and creative ways to extended or promote learning at home.

      For example, you could put a favorite book on the board (or copy of cover) and add some fun words like “this is what we are reading and you can enjoy it too!” Put something interactive that the parents can take home and do or a list of ideas to do or an interactive game on the board itself. Say you are reading “I Spy” books then make an eye spy game on the board for kids and parents to try.

      That’s my first thought anyway:)


      • Dawnna February 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        I like that idea for the parent board. Meanwhile, I continue to scan my house for wall “real estate”. Thank you for your reply.

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