Bump It Up Boards

Increase student achievement by using bump it up boards as an effective instructional strategy from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

I have been hard at work creating a Bump It Up board to support the 4 R’s – Retell, Relate, Reflect, Review. I use the 4 R’s reading response method frequently in my classroom, and it is featured on a few of my genre based book reports.  

This strategy helps students self monitor their work to ensure it meets the guidelines. They can compared their work to a known leveled sample, and see how they can improve their work. 

I have seen a lot of Bump It Up boards on real cork boards in classrooms, but if you create it on a display board you can move it around your classroom or take it with you on rotary. You could also share your board with another teacher who is working on the same concept. Using a display board would be great for a split/combined grades class as each grade could have their own reference board. 

Increase student achievement by using bump it up boards as an effective instructional strategy from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
The completed Bump It Up Board

The Process:

  1. I collected many samples of student work on the 4 R’s.
  2. Students worked in groups to read the responses and Level each response based on their previous knowledge of what makes a good Retell, Relate, Reflect and Review.
  3. A student in each group was the recorder and wrote down all of their ideas on what made the piece a Level 3 (B) or a Level 4 (A).
  4. We had a class discussion and compared our answers to ensure consistency among our expectations for Level 3 and 4 work.
  5. I typed up their thinking under the appropriate categories, which has now become our Success Criteria.
  6. I typed up the assignment expectations and formatted the student work samples to fit on to the display board.
  7. All Level 3 work and labels were colour coded Orange and Level 4 work and labels were colour coded Green to help students easily find the Level they wish to read
  8. All was assembled on the display board and then glued down.

Other Ideas:

Increase student achievement by using bump it up boards as an effective instructional strategy from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

The music teacher at my school created a Bump It Board using QR Codes. The teacher recorded Level 1 -4 sheet music performances of the instruments the students play. The teacher uploaded each recording to her classroom website for the students to reference and listen to. Now students can hear the difference between a Level 2 (C) performance and a Level 3 (B) performance. 

How do the students access the website? They scan the QR code with their smart phones and save the link to their instrument! 

These two products can help you start using bump it boards in your classroom.


I would love to see how you use Bump It Up boards in your classroom. 

Please comment below with ideas or a link to your blog post. 

Increase student achievement by using bump it up boards as an effective instructional strategy from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.


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  • Ms.M from Teachingisagift
    March 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Great idea! I would love to have the time to do this. I think I just might take the idea of using tri-fold boards and make one of these for extended response questions for reading. My students are still struggling with what it takes to move from a level 3 to a level 4. This strategy would be a great resource to make and save.

  • Jessica Goodrow
    March 5, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I've never seen one of these before. Thanks for sharing!
    Literacy Spark

  • Holly Olberding
    March 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Great idea! I am going to read up on it over Spring Break!!:)

    The Little Apple Teacher

  • Erin
    March 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I've never seen a Bump It Up board, but I think it's a great idea! I love that I could direct a student to the board instead of repeating myself 100 times! Great suggestion!

  • Shannon
    April 6, 2013 at 12:52 am

    These are way cool. I've never heard of them before!

    I "might" be teaching reading next year so these would be great to use. Thanks bunches. 🙂


  • Ashleigh CS
    April 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing =)

    The Creation Station

  • HannahBiotics
    July 8, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    This is a really great idea! This is the first time I have every heard of this and I want to use this sometime in the future. I have a few question though:
    1) Do you only chart level 3 and 4 work when you make it? I noticed that the music instructor included 1 and 2 but the other examples did not.
    2) What if you feel the group of students did not produce material worthy (lets just say of level 4) when you create it? Do you just let the students decide with what you have or do you do something different?
    3) Do you make a new Bump board per year/class or do you keep the same one to use?

  • Kristy Avis
    July 8, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    You can include Levels 1-4 but I ran out of room! I save my bump it up board ideas from year to year and then use them as a guide to make new ones with my new classes. If students are not achieving Level 3 or 4 then I have them refer to the bump it up board and figure out what their work was missing. Great questions!