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December 22, 2011 Putting Your Walls to Work By Jennifer Solis and Jenifer Boatwright
Grades 1–2

    Whether we are displaying student work or designing a bulletin board, we strive to do more than just create a classroom decoration. Of course we like to impress the visitors that walk through our door, but our full-time audience is the class of darling 1st and 2nd graders that gaze upon our classroom walls daily. Keeping that in mind, we make sure our walls are meaningful to our students and that they serve a purpose. We want them to communicate to our students that they are capable of producing quality work and of being resourceful. Nothing improves the classroom atmosphere more than displaying current student work. So, take a peek at some of our best tips for putting classroom walls to work.


    Make the Walls Meaningful

    Meaningful walls show everyone who visits the classroom exactly what the students are learning. A simple way to do this is to post the standard of the assignment just covered. Here is an example of how we post the standard using kid-friendly language.




    We also display teacher- and student-created graphic organizers with the students’ final work. This reminds students of the journey they took from the beginning of the assignment to the end. In addition, they can use this as a resource for future assignments. We oftentimes find our students referring back to the wall when they are working independently.


    Walls as a Resource    

    Using walls as a resource makes the classroom environment more interactive and functional. We are always looking for ways to engage our students and teach them how to use the resources right at their fingertips. One of the ways we accomplish this is through Word Wall and center activities. Throughout our classrooms, we have centers set up in the form of student workstations. Each station includes assignment instructions accompanied with student work samples.  We encourage our students to use these work samples as a resource to guide them through their task.

    We post our Word Walls at a level that is accessible to all students, and words are posted with pushpins so students can easily take them down to use as they complete written activities.



    Another Idea Worth Sharing

    We recently noted that one of our colleagues creatively highlighted spelling patterns and sight words in her bulletin board displays. We loved the idea and wanted to share. Check it out!



    We are excited to have joined the Scholastic team and would love to hear from you! How do you use the walls in your classroom?


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