Classroom Display Ideas
Last spring, I encouraged you to take a good, hard look at your classroom displays and think about how, in the future, you might increase the emphasis on displaying student work and showcasing learning. Now, for those of you who are just getting started with a new class, it’s time to make good on that vision! Here are some ideas to inspire you.
1. Each child chooses a piece of work he or she wants to showcase.
This sort of display lets students know that you value their opinions, while showing that each of them contributes to the classroom community in a unique way. Your students will enjoy seeing what their classmates choose to post, and as long as it’s updated frequently, you’ll probably find that they look at this display at closely and frequently.
This photo shows what second grade teacher Lisa Garsh and her students call their “Graffiti Wall”—a magnetic whiteboard. Each student has a magnetic clip with his/her name on it, which they use to hold the pieces of work they choose for display.
Another easy way to have a “choice display” is to set aside a space for each student on bulletin boards. You can define the spaces with pieces of card stock or construction paper—put two clips at the top of each for an easy way to hold papers. Or use clear plastic sheet protectors and have students slide whatever they wish to display inside.
2. Have students create borders for your bulletin boards rather than buying commercial ones, like Kirsten Howard, a first grade teacher, did.
These borders give students such a visible sense of ownership and belonging in their classroom! Having students work on borders is a great activity for early in the year, when you are introducing classroom materials and teaching procedures. Leave the decision about what to draw open-ended, or assign a specific theme. Lead up to the task with a Guided Discovery of crayons or markers, or use it as an opportunity for children to practice skills you’ve modeled, such as sharing materials or working with a partner. Later in the year, you can give the room an instant new look by taking down the old borders and having the children make new ones to replace them.
3. Create a place to remember people, animals, or things that have to leave the class.
This example, also from Kirsten Howard’s classroom, is simple but so powerful! The display tells students that in a loving community, everyone is valued, even when they are no longer present. Especially in schools with a high transiency rate, this type of display reassures children that even if they have to leave, they will still be missed and remembered, and they will always be special to their class and teacher.
Want to see more ideas for classroom displays? Have a look at our Classroom Displays board on Pinterest!
Margaret Berry Wilson is the author of several books, including: The Language of Learning, Doing Science in Morning Meeting (co-authored with Lara Webb), Interactive Modeling, and Teasing, Tattling, Defiance & More.