Many PYP schools have guidelines about what should be on the walls, but it is worth stopping to reflect once in a while about what you are doing with this valuable teaching space. That’s right: teaching space. I’ve found that whenever I go out on a limb with my informational displays, the students will stop to read what is there, and they will discuss it with their buddies all week long. (I had a class full of children who insisted opera was boring and irrelevant, but after putting up a colorful display, they couldn’t stop talking about the amazing facts and stories!)
That aside, I have tried to cover the majority of my walls with student work. Sometimes this is a template that is filled out with fun ideas from students, and other times it is a presentation of the amazing work that they do. I’ve found that the students are very eager to study these displays, admiring what their peers have done, but also looking at what other grade levels are learning. The students really take pride in seeing their hard work and ideas displayed on the walls. They love that their ideas are “display worthy,” and it often leads students to reflect more genuinely on the work they have done. I often hear students giving really good feedback to one another as they compare their finished (or in-progress) works! My next step is to add some rubric-inspired language as part of the display to see if that gives more focus to their candid feedback.
Your turn! What’s on your walls?