Classroom Walls Tip#5 {create lasting displays}

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This week we're focusing on your classroom walls. I'm rounding out the week with displays that are purposeful and will last the year.  Below are two reposts that you might find helpful.  I'll post the weekly link-up tomorrow.

My Student Work Board for the 2011-2012 School Year:

I once loved creating bulletin boards.

And by loved I mean LOVED.
I would plan them in my head and tweak them until the reality matched the vision.
At the risk of being institutionalized, I will admit that I have used actual levels and tape measures to perfect them.
Each was a work of art worthy of it’s own gallery premiere. People should have worn black dresses and tuxes as they sipped wine and stared in awe as they discussed the merits of my work.
And then the desire slowly fizzled and the demands grew and time became limited and priorities changed and now bulletin boards have become something else on the to do list. Occasionally, the creative bug will bite and I’ll go all old school and whip up a masterpiece, but for the most part I try to keep it simple.
I have a lot of “interactive bulletin boards” in my classroom now. These are things like word walls, a weekly language arts focus wall and my CAFÉ board that are ongoing throughout the year. But, there are those boards that need to be changed regularly. One simple way to do that is to create a board that is maintained by your students.
Provide each student with a space on the wall that belongs to him. You could hang a background paper and label it with the child’s name. Let the student select what he wants to display and allow him to put up the work he wants to showcase in that spot.
Below are a few simple options to make changing the work quick and easy:
  • Slip a paperclip over the back of the construction paper background. The child can slip his work under the clip.
  • Attach a self-sticking plastic clip (same effect as the paper clip, but more costly)
  • Mount photo corners to the background paper. This looks very cool and artsy, but has some downfalls. The children are limited to the size of the work they can hang and some lack the fine motor skills to use the photo corners.
  • Tie a line of string, twine or fishing line and provide each student with a clothespin that has his name on it to hang the work with.
  • Staple a large Ziploc bag to the wall and let the students slip the work into the bag.

I use my friends pictures in my classroom any chance I get. These clothespins are a great way to incorporate their smiling faces. I especially like this idea for preK and K students since the name isn't always obvious on their work.

You simply must view the tutorial on how to make these darling clips. You'll be rushing out to the craft store. They can be used to hang work from a clothesline. And since they are written in chalk you can use them over and over. I feel a project coming on in my house. ;)

My love affair with Eloise's classroom continues. Check out her bright clothesline. With the black background I would imagine the students' work will pop.


Here are a few other prior posts that may be helpful when planning your "walls" for next year:

how to set up a classroom classroom design class set up tool classroom set up tool set-up setting up an elementary school classroom kindergarten first 1st second 2nd third 3rd 4th fourth 5th fifth arrangement design organization arrange theme cleaning decluttering organized classroom preparing a classroom getting ready for the first day of school preparing a classroom first year teacher classroom organization how to organize a classroom preparing for the first day of school setting up a classroom for the new year how to set up a classroom library organizing a classroom librarystudent work displays hanging up student work displaying student work how to showcase student work easy buletin boards

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