8 Bulletin Board Ideas to Promote Social and Emotional Development

As you start thinking about back-to-school and getting your classroom ready for the new year, consider adding an SEL-themed bulletin board. From teaching kindness to promoting a growth mindset to building confidence, these boards can do a lot to promote social and emotional competence.

Here are eight of our favorite bulletin boards that promote students’ social and emotional development. Save this list and try out different boards throughout the school year.

1. Build a sense of community with your students with a “Pieces of Us” board. Each student completes a puzzle piece that describes something about themselves: likes, goals, strengths, etc. Students will gain a greater appreciation of diversity, increase social engagement, and learn to consider the perspectives of others.

2. Help students develop a growth mindset with a “Change Your Mindset” board. Fixed mindset phrases are listed on the left, and growth mindset phrases are on the right. If, for instance, a student uses a fixed mindset phrase to describe herself, remind her of this board and help her select an appropriate growth mindset phrase to better describe how she has the power to improve.

3. Students need to learn that it’s ok to feel sad, angry, and upset sometimes. Validating these feelings is the first step to working through them. This “It’s Ok To…” bulletin board is a great way to help students take ownership of complicated feelings and start a conversation around how to overcome obstacles.

4. This “Daily Check-in” board (sometimes called Zones of Emotion) gives students an opportunity to assess and communicate their feelings. Teachers get a sense of how students are feeling each day and can pay particular attention to students who rate themselves higher than “2.”

5. Encourage students to show their appreciation for their teachers and educators. Set up an Appreciation Station board where students can write thank you notes to their teachers. This will help students practice kindness, appreciation, and empathy, and teachers will get a morale boost from hearing positive feedback from their students.

6. This Harry Potter-themed board is very popular. Students can “meet the wizard” who is responsible for their choices, grades, success, etc. by looking into different mirrors. We love this board because it helps promote students’ self-efficacy and confidence as well as their reflection and motivation skills.

7. Are you a “Bucket Filler”? This board gives younger students a visual for how their words and actions can affect others. Read the story, “How Full is Your Bucket?” (authored by Tom Rath) to engage students in the concept, and then use the board to reinforce the story’s lesson and teach appropriate ways to interact with and help others.

8. There are many board ideas to teach kindness. Some of our favorites include: Top 10 Ways to Be Kind, Random Acts of Kindness, and The Kindness Challenge.

Bulletin boards can be a fun and interactive way to reinforce SEL in your classroom. Get creative and try out different boards throughout the year to support students’ social and emotional development.

We would love to see your SEL-themed bulletin boards! Please share your pictures with us on Twitter — don’t forget to tag us @ApertureEdu!

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