This is definitely not something I would say is my forte`, but I have been trying to get better at making the look and feel of my classrooms more interesting and engaging. The thing I find difficult is achieving visible learning versus simply decorating – although there is also value in displaying student work. This year I have tried to use student work in a way that doubles as visible learning, and inspiration by displaying work that students have created, which can help them throughout their units of study.
For example, while looking at media and language in Grade 11, students delivered a presentation on the features of different text types – the slides of this presentation have been put on the walls and whenever students are unsure about aspects of a letter to the editor, editorial or any other sort of text, I direct them to the display to see if they can find the answer there. I have also put up other key words and pieces of information.
I have taken a similar approach to displays with my Grade 10 Shakespeare unit, where we spent quite a lot of time looking at the language of Shakespeare. We started with everyone’s favourite, Shakespearean insults, and also looked at a range of other words, finding definitions and creating a ‘word wall’. When students came across words they were unsure about while reading, I encouraged them to check the word wall. I also encouraged them to use some of the Shakespearean language regularly in our classes, and often greeted students with some of the insults that they had created – a silly welcome to English classes. How do you create displays in your classroom? In particular, how do you ensure displays are engaging and support the learning process for students? Secondary or primary teachers, I’d love any tips!