# Back to School Bulletin Board or Door Decoration Ideas

By Elizabeth Wistrom

Welcome students with a classroom door decoration that incorporates their names. Your students will have fun trying to locate their names in this colorful display! This makes a terrific addition to your idea file for the first day of school bulletin board.

While the first day back to school can be an exciting time for most students, it can also make others apprehensive. A "Welcome Back to School" bulletin board or classroom door decoration can help to ease the transition.

Your class will be extra excited to see their names on display!

Materials:

• Butcher paper in white (length depends on how many students are in your class)
• Assorted colors of construction paper
• Block letter templates
• Black marker - or other colors of your choosing

You will need to have a copy of your class list handy for this classroom door decoration.

1. Using the list, count the total number of letters in each student's name. Add to find a final total of letters.
2. Use this number to determine how many squares are needed for the grid being used. Ideas for square colors include using your school colors, using seasonal colors, or simply using a black marker.
3. Draw the squares on to the butcher paper.
4. With the marker, divide butcher paper into squares that will fit the cut-out letters. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
5. Using the colored construction paper, cut out the letters of each student's name. Use one color per student.
6. Arrange the letters on the butcher paper so that the names are in alphabetical order. Or, if you prefer to make it more of a challenge, you can arrange them so that they are not. That's all there is to it!

## Ice-Breaker Games

Younger students will simply enjoy recognizing their names. Older students may enjoy using the display for a series of "ice-breaker" games.

For example, you could time the students to see how long it takes them to line up in the same order the names are listed in. This activity will require them to interact with one another, learn each other's names and cooperate to complete the task.

Another idea would be to incorporate the names in a math activity. Assign a numerical value to each letter of the alphabet (A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on....) Have students add up the letters in their own name to see which name has the highest value. Challenge them to then find another name (other than their own) that has a numerical that is the same, higher or lower than their own. They could even use the display to determine the numerical value for all of the names added together!

However you choose to use it, your students are going to feel comfortable immediately with this interactive classroom door decoration on the first day of school.