We all want our classroom displays to look Pinterest perfect – as well as being useful, of course – but is dedicating a whole weekend to jazzing up one corner of the classroom really the best use of your time? Get your evenings back with these seven effective but speedy ideas from Julie Price Grimshaw.
Display your Drafts
When pupils are working on a piece of writing that involves redrafting, display each draft – with marking if you like – and then the final piece. It doesn’t matter how many drafts there are, and as long as each child is making progress, variability across the class isn’t really an issue. The fantastic thing about this type of evolving display is that it makes children aware of the progress they are making, often over quite a short period of time. When adults visit the classroom it’s great if children are able to talk through the process of improving their work.
Cut up a Poster
Get a large picture or poster, possibly related to a topic – but don’t let the pupils see the full picture. Cut it up into eight to ten pieces – either try rectangles or more complex shapes. Start off by putting one piece on the wall and then invite pupils to put up the next pieces, one at a time. You can stretch this over whatever time period you like and organise it so that that the pieces go up in a random order; the main thing is that it keeps the pupils guessing – they love this!
Revive the art of postcard writing. Use postcards from different places or a specific location to fit in with a topic. To display, punch a hole and hang by string so that both the picture and written side are visible.
Displays using fabric look fantastic but can also be time consuming. Charity shops often have cheap but beautiful scarves that can be adapted to all sorts of displays quickly and effectively. Tie or staple onto boards or hang from above.
Fill a Box
Displays aren’t just for walls – get a basket or box and fill with small items (toys, books, messages, maps, key words) related to your topic. You could even link this ‘display’ to an activity, such as a treasure hunt.
Make some commas, full stops etc from black card with a piece of sticky putty on each one. Write a sentence with no punctuation marks on a wall display and invite pupils to place the marks in the right place. This works best as an ongoing display with a new sentence each week.
Fill Gift Bags
Little gift bags are great. They can be used to create a fantastic display and it’s a great way to recycle the ones you’ve been given. Supermarkets and bargain stores sell some lovely gift bags, featuring attractive pictures and holographic designs, which can be stapled to a wall board. You can fill them with all sorts of things – challenge work, puzzles, treats, rewards… whatever you like! A cheaper alternative is ‘buckets’ made from paper cups or similar, with scope here for personalisation.