Over the years, I've simplified my classroom. Themes and magical transformations often end up more about teacher competition and pressure than actually beneficial to the children. I do make fresh displays each year, but they're quick and simple. I have deliberately left them blank until the children start. I want them to notice what is added. Plus, I will do a lot of it during the lesson. For example, I may bring one of the Creating sheets from the writing wall to the front while we think of vocabulary we could add, or send children to write notes on it.
Really simple working wall. No backing paper. It's just coloured paper with a very quick border on. Throughout the unit, I'll glue pictures, tips and examples on. When we're finished, I'll take them down and treasury tag them into our own reference book, then quickly put new papers up. The titles will stay all year. They're simple, hand-drawn titles. If you're not very neat, go for a sketchy or doodly style or print them. They're not laminated because no one will be messing with them, so why waste the time and plastic to make them too shiny to read?
Another very similar one. Simple and could be used to keep as a book. I feel like I may add a couple more pages to this, but I'm not sure what yet. I'll see what they need as we get going. Again, these took under a minute each: draw a big explosion on a piece of paper. The titles can be as comic-style as you want or you could print them. (Next year, I will try to remember to scan version before cutting them out. Then you can print them!)
The title is done in the same way as the Writing one: a strip of laminating cut-off or OHP sheet to use as a whiteboard section. The How pages will have instructions, guides and tips. I will add them as we go to ensure they have maximum benefit and maximum impact. The Why will have real life applications.
We are an IPC school, so we used topic-based teaching, but this type of display could be used for any number of things.
Other Bits and Bobs
I hope you enjoyed this little classroom tour! You may notice a lack of backing paper. I don't like it. Waste of time, waste of paper, gets tatty. Plus, if your walls are white, even the brightest colours somehow seem to darken the room. If I had boards and therefore had to back them, I think I'd do white with colourful borders. You may also notice a lack of behaviour management system. I give Dojo points, keeping the window open on the projector (we have no IWBs) and class merits (for whole-class achievements & they choose a treat after 50). I don't have ANY negative reinforcement. No chart to move down, no Dojo points removed. No humiliation. I like it.
I'd love to hear your tips and advice in the comments below and don't forget to like and share please. Keep your eyes peeled on YouTube for a video tour coming very soon!
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!