When it comes to classroom display, less is more.
Displays can be a rich source of education, amusement and inspiration but only when done with a light touch.
Not every wall needs something from floor to ceiling. Some teachers even cover the ceilings – crazy!
Walls are a great classroom resource and when used interactively they do more than just hold up the roof, they can hold attention too.
One way you can use one of your walls is to make it a Wonder Wall.
A Wonder Wall is a sort of super-sized KWL graphic organiser. It’s basically a bulletin board.
One half of the board asks ‘What we Want to Know?’ and the other side show ‘What We Found out’.
To use one is easy because you allow students the freedom to post any relevant question on the wall and then post what they find out as a topic progresses.
This creates a safe environment that encourages students to share all of their ideas. As teachers, it’s crucial to acknowledge all thinking and respond to ideas as neutrally as possible.
This builds a culture of enquiry and develops autonomous and responsible learners.
These grids don’t over-complicate but keep it simple and allow plenty of space for students to display and record their questions, thinking, comments and observations.
Importantly, this is the work of the students and not the teacher. So many fancy displays are just the work of teachers and TAs which sort of defeats the purpose.
A Wonder Wall is something to improve creative, analytical, and critical thinking skills of all students.
Wonder Walls have obvious uses within scientific enquiry but they would be excellent resources to use within any curriculum subject where children endeavour to find the answers to their own questions.
They promote the triad of access, fairness and equity for all students and so contribute to an inclusive learning environment.