As you pack up your classroom, take time to consider your walls.
For your struggling learners, these walls can be priceless when it comes to remembering what's important. Students will look at classroom walls every day. Why not rethink what you will use them for next year!
There is research to show that students perform better on tests when given in their own classroom as opposed to being pulled into another space. Why? Because they can remember the learning that took place there.
How valuable these walls can be!
Here are a few thoughts and ideas to consider:
Divide your walls into areas of learning. For example, the walls in the writing workshop area should reflect current learning. Save ideas on anchor charts that can be revisited later for review. Students should know where anchor charts are kept, so that they can have access to previous learning.
A timeline would be great for Social Studies! Why not use one area as a timeline and add to it all year long. What a great visual reminder of all that they have learned!
I love, love this timeline using clothespins. Just put it on the wall and add the children's work with the pins.
Introduce a new Read Aloud each week and spotlight it for emphasis. Use rolled paper to record the name of each book and the author. Have students review the books and post their reviews on the wall.
What about a math wall?
Here is a great post about math walls.
Of course, we can't forget the WORD WALL. This needs some special consideration. I see word walls way up high near the ceiling. I guess it's because teachers think they need lots of room for the words. But all the kids can do is look at them. I prefer another approach:
Magnets are glued to each word! Students can remove the word and take it to their desk if they need to write it. Teachers can remove the words and show students how it is used in authentic literature. This may be my favorite use of a white board!
It is way cheaper to start off with blank walls and add as you go. Don't waste your money on store-bought items that are only fluff. Take a picture of your blank walls at the beginning of school and periodically through out the year. You will have evidence of learning to show parents and administration.
Use the area outside your door to display student work. Save the area inside for learning.
Don't overdo. Less is better. Walk in your room or better yet, take a picture and see if you can tell what your students are learning. You may see your room in a different light!
Check out inquiry-based learning ideas. Here is a great website that will explain aspects of the theory. They use the walls to show student learning and inquiry.
Take time to reflect on how you will use your walls next year. You won't be sorry!
Thanks for stopping by!