Math = Love: Missing a Bulletin Board

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Missing a Bulletin Board

A few weeks ago, a student mentioned that she missed the bulletin board from last year with the different statements on it.

You know, this one:

I saved this bulletin board for last to take down at the end of last year.  It's been the most impactful bulletin board of my teaching career.  It wasn't just pretty.  It made a difference in my classroom.  I used it to correct my students.  And, my students use it to correct me and each other.  It made us think about our words.  It made us reflect on what those words were saying about us and our attitude at the moment.

Yet, I'm the type of person who likes to change things up every year.  So, the bulletin board came down. And, I put "make a new growth mindset bulletin board" on my summer to do list.  I looked for something I liked better, but I never found anything.

Classroom drama meant that I didn't get into my classroom to decorate until a week before school started.  Students arrived, and my bulletin boards were still blank.

As I taught classes, I found myself increasingly frustrated.  One of my freshmen would announce "This is too hard!"  I just wanted to point to the bulletin board and say "This will take some time and effort."  The same sentence I said so many times last year.  I found myself still saying this, but it didn't have the same impact.

As other teachers decorated their classroom, they kept tagging me on twitter with pictures of their new, beautiful bulletin boards.  I was happy for them and sad for myself, all at the same time.

Friday, I started looking at my last blank bulletin board.

I still had the posters from last year's bulletin board.  The question was - would they fit in this smaller space?  I got my last period aide to staple as many of them up as possible.  All nine of them fit!  There's no room for the title, but I can live with this.  

My classroom just feels so much more complete now.  

Want the file to put this up in your own room?  Check out this blog post.    


  1. a colleague sent this bulletin board idea to me, but I already downloaded your file last year. I definitely need to put it up! There are several growth posters I could point to every day.

  2. I overhauled my classroom this summer after being inspired by your blog. I love how your personality and love of math is everywhere. This board is one of the first things I copied, and my students already are more attuned to hearing when the fixed mindset thinking slips out of their mouth! Thanks.

  3. You do know that your picture went viral, right? I had at least 10 people share it with me on Facebook and it has been pinned a crazy number of times. I have my "Change your mindset!" board up and I've added a few signs to fill in some space:

    "I don't know...YET!"
    "We each learn in our own ways, by our own time clocks."
    "It's OK to make mistakes. That's the way we learn."

    I teach at an all girls' school and the girls are VERY hard on themselves. This board is helping us to keep perspective and realize that as we progress we have to give ourselves time to grow and make new connections. :)

    1. LOVE the additions! I was shocked when I started seeing a picture from my classroom ALL over twitter!

      Glad to hear the board is working well for your girls!