Classroom displays are a love/hate teacher thing. Some teachers take great pride in creating beautiful displays and enjoy creating their masterpieces. Other teachers can find it time consuming, especially when there is always a long list of other jobs that need doing, which are far more important!
I can struggle looking after my classroom keeping it tidy, organised and up to date. However, I did invest some time into transforming my classroom and was very pleased with the results! Here are some of the displays in my classroom and as well as looking pretty for students, parents and visitors each display does have a key purpose.
Celebrating students success!
Most teachers will proudly showcase their students work. Informing students that their work will be put on display can often act as an incentive to make their work neater or more detailed. In my classroom I have a ‘Proud Wall’. This contains photos of students work, so for example it could be a fantastic piece of extended writing but it is firmly in their class-book. I will take a picture to then put on the wall, I recommend using the app Office Lens suggested by Mark Anderson @ICTEvangelist, to take high quality pictures of students written work. I have also taken pictures of incredible take away homework projects, pictures of individual students, picture of students working well together and anything that deserves to go on my ‘Proud Wall’. This is easy to update, every so often I will take one picture at a time and add it to the wall. Students often like to look at the wall to see if they are on it or who else made it and why. Plus, it always shows my students how proud I am of their effort and success. Other suggestions include wall of fame, wonder wall, share your success and so on.
It was a colleague at my current school who demonstrated how effective classroom displays can be, especially for GCSE and/or A Level classes. The displays can include suggested tips for exam technique, structure, terminology etc. Students can refer to the boards in the lesson to help with their exam answers or revision. We have found students often take pictures of these displays to refer to when at home.
Currently I teach three subjects but next academic year I will only be teaching my specialist subject History. I really want to create a classroom environment that contains historical information, pictures, timelines etc all to again help and support my students and promote a passion for the subject that I have!
However, that being said about making displays subject specific a lot of my displays link in with PSHE and to raise awareness of issues that are important to all students such as internet safety, healthy eating etc.
Personalise a display just for your tutor group, form class or class if you are at Primary. Here is how my tutor group have made their mark in my classroom! This idea I magpied from Pinterest about what makes students happy! Love the responses! Pinterest is fabulous for lots of classroom display inspiration!
I have various AfL strategies and I have described my classroom as an AfL friendly environment. A simple idea is creating a traffic light out of paper and card to go on display. I can use this when students are answering questions or reflecting on the lesson using post it notes. Very simple, handy and useful use of space in my room!
Another way to use the display space as an area for students to use is a Learning Wall. This can be used in a variety of ways. One activity is a magpie style activity, where students will write down key facts/information on the post it note and attach it to the learning wall. At any point in the lesson if a student needs help or wishes to add more detail they can look on the learning wall for information, ideas and inspiration from their peers! Another idea is for students to write questions they have and stick it on the learning wall. Other students or the teacher can answer these questions in the lesson or at the end of the lesson. I am still finding new ways how I can use the learning wall with students!
I also make full use the corridor and door for classroom displays. Here is an example of how I used my door as a way to excite learners before the lesson even began!
*Useful tip* A good resource to have in the classroom is Magic Whiteboard. This is sticky and can you can write on it, obviously like a white board, then rub off to use again and it comes in different sizes such as A3. Every week my school has a different theme of the week linked to spiritual and moral development. So the magic whiteboard is perfect to have on display as it is updated every week.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you’ve been inspired by any of these ideas I’d love to hear from you to find out how you’ve taken them / adapted or remixed them and used them in your classroom. Please feel free to follow my blog and leave comments below or why not just drop me a message on Twitter .