Saturday, June 16, 2012

Make the Old Into the New!

Edit Posted by with 5 comments

Okay, so I am sure you are like me and have spent the end of the year clearing out your old supplies.  I have thrown bags full of old materials out and passed some along to new teachers.  One supply I had an abundance of was old bulletin board borders!  I must have at least 300 patterns in all!!!  Some pieces were long, some were short, and some packs were unopened!  As I thought about tossing half of the borders out, I thought about the different ways I had used them this year.  The following is a list of ways I used old borders that you may find handy... (if you have some ways of your own you've used them, I would love to know!)

1.  Borders around posters.  Many times, posters looked empty or bland simply hanging on the wall.  To create a more vibrant effect, I used borders around the edges to frame them!

2.  Student head bands.  I can't count the number of times my students asked to make these!  If I was running short on craft supplies, I simply pulled out my old borders and let the students go to town selecting the ones they liked.  Then, I would call them over one by one and staple them to fit their heads.  Some even asked for tails to hang off the back!  Time and time again, these have satisfied my little friends!

3.  Informal units of measurement.  When our math journals stated that we had to use "informal units of measure" to measure the length of the classroom, we used yarn and blocks placed end to end.  Then, I had another idea...use my borders!  Students had a blast measuring everything in the room because they had chosen their own borders to measure with.

4.  Cute index cards.  Sometimes, an activity called for students to use index cards.  When I had run out of my fluorescent ones, I had only white ones left.  Ewwww.  So, I used a plain card to measure and cut new cards out of----you guessed it----colorful borders!  They wrote on the plain side and enjoyed looking at the colorful side.

5.  Pattern cards at math centers.  Many bulletin board borders have unique patterns on them that students can observe.  At math time, I had a plastic bin filled with laminated border pieces.  I cut and glued patterns of my own together from the old scraps, laminated them, and placed them in a bucket for students to match.  To enrich students who found the matching too easy, they would have to identify the pattern such as AB, ABBA, etc.  This was quick and lots of fun!

Do you have any ways you have used or would like to use your old bulletin board border scraps?  Share so we can all find new ways to use them!  


  1. I'd love to have the problem of having too much border! That's amazing! I think it would be fun to have the patterns center you thought of. Maybe you could make counters out of them by using a circle cutter or something?

    Miss A's Kindergarten

  2. Great ideas, I have used them for patterning before. I also had a border that had numbers on it and I cut them apart for my kdg kids to order the numbers.

    One year instead of using border, I had the kids decorate the back of sentence strips on the first day of school.

    Kelly @ I'm not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  3. Great ideas. In the past I have sometimes used cut them & made bookmarks. But I haven't used my borders in years. I'm going to have to get them out and see what I can do with them. Thanks!!!

  4. Hi Leanne,
    I like to put used or old borders in the art center in my room. The students can use them for many things like, making crowns, cutting out the designs and gluing and pasting them onto paper, tracing the shape of the border etc...these activities really help to improve fine motor skills in little learners.


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