One Sunflower

wall paper

on December 15, 2010

I’ve been thinking about what I put on the walls in my classroom.

Last week I attended a professional development seminar at a sister school and was able to visit the classroom of one of my colleagues.  While most of what happens in an early childhood classroom has nothing to do with anything that can be stapled on to a flat space, it is still important to post things on our walls that remind students of who they are and what they are working on, or for informing others of the work of preschool.

My colleague and her aide definitely have an artsy knack and they have used bulletin boards, cupboard doors and the entry-way to display student work that not only showcases student work but also engages the children in recollecting and recounting subject matter.  One wall hosted  a display of drawings the children created of their families and photos of those special people.

Her cupboard doors were decorated with entries from student journals.  These were great examples of displaying current student work and drawings that are of high interest to the students themselves.

Words from a favorite fingerplay about monkeys jumping on the bed was posted over the daybed in the classroom – definitely an interactive space!

The entrance had a wall of snowmen and student dictated “snowman soup” recipes.  These recipes are entertaining for grown-ups to read so it is wonderful that they are posted in an area of high traffic.

I went back to my classroom and took a close look at my walls.  I really only have one wall that is great for displaying student work. At the beginning of the year, I lined it with black paper with the idea that I wouldn’t have to change out the color because it high lights student work well.  I am trying to use student names everywhere and as often as possible because of their power to teach letter recognition to my students – so every piece of student work has a big name attached to it.

My first display used student photos to welcome the children to school.  The next display was geared to show parents the new achievements of their children when they visited the classroom.

Right now I’m in the process of creating a wall of art that has some interactive properties.   The students used hand prints to create trees.

I posted the trees last Friday, and since I’m working on developing their fine motor skills, I gave them stickers today to decorate them.  Above the trees, I put up pages of photos and commentary that will end up in student portfolios at the end of the year.  Hopefully the phrase “look at me” attached to every one of them will be a source of continued exposure to those ever important sight words!

But most of the decor in my classroom is “organic.” We have what I call “galleries.”

My students freely decorate with drawings, paintings, coloring pages, white boards, cut out pieces of paper – sometimes just the colored tape!  It is quite spontaneous and definitely a source of pride to those who contribute.  Every so often I weed them out, making space for new work.  I’ve warned the students that January is going to be a month for starting over – our galleries are going to be stripped before the winter break.

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One response to “wall paper

  1. Juliann says:

    What a thoughtful post. I love it when teachers are intentional about posting student but I also get the impression that you are open to possibilities – letting the displays evolve is very honoring.

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