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While schoolchildren across the country are getting more and more excited about breaking up for the summer holidays, teachers are already planning for the beginning of the next academic year. An important part of this preparation, especially for the earlier age groups, is preparing classroom displays.
A good display not only engages and informs, it also brightens up the atmosphere of the classroom - a plain, drab classroom is uninviting and may affect concentration. A classroom display should not only create an engaging learning and working environment for the students, but should also reflect your personality and style of teaching.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, too many decorations may be harmful to learning, according to research. Therefore, it’s important to strike up a balance. In this post, RAL Display shares five top tips for creating an inspirational classroom display.
Tip 1 - Make Your Display Informative
Your display should be informative, yet easy for the students to understand - a display with lots of text can be tedious to read, even for the teachers themselves. Use keywords and diagrams to get the message across effectively and concisely.
Having learning aids and resources on and around your display helps your students to learn independently; and with easy access to these resources, they can get the information they need whenever they want.
Tip - 2. Make Your Display Interactive & Engaging
Another way to improve the interactivity of your display is to include the class in its creation - students will enjoy a display more if they have contributed to it and feel like they are a part of it. Even if you start the display yourself, it could be an ongoing, collaborative effort for the whole class.
For example, you could prepare a background to which students can add elements that they have learned throughout the year; these elements could be words, historical figures or fictional characters - it depends on the display.
This ongoing display-building might also help the students to remember the content more easily by breaking it down into smaller chunks which then have a physical, visual representation.
Tip 3 - Use a Unique Design or Theme
It might be tempting to use the format of a previous display and just change the content, but the layout and styling of the display is just as important as the information displayed on it. Many children are visual learners, meaning that they are more receptive to images and colour than to long paragraphs of information
Including 3D elements or games will bring your display to life and involve the students more - this is very effective with younger pupils and could be used as a starter activity in the classroom. For example, a display about the solar system could use paper plates or different sized balls, such as ping pong or tennis balls (bowling balls are probably a bad idea!), to represent the different objects in the solar system.
Tip 4 - Make Your Display Exciting & Creative
Colour in the classroom doesn’t only need to be for early primary school. Challenge yourself to use colour in creative and unconventional ways, such as displaying inspiration posters or creating themed “mood” corners.
These can provide an environment where students are more likely to express their ideas, think outside the box, challenge problems with innovative solutions and most importantly – learn faster and more effectively.
Colour can also be an incredibly powerful tool to aid students with absorbing information and learning new content in general. Encourage your students to use more colour as a staple when taking notes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they start absorbing new information.
While it is important to choose colours and themes that will attract the attention of the students, it’s equally as important not to overload your display with too many colours and too much information, as this could over-stimulate the students and become a distraction rather than an aid.
Every class and every teacher is different, so it’s important to find the balance that makes your display exciting, but clear, for your particular class and personal style.
Tip 5 - Choose The Right Display & Location
The location of your classroom display is just as important as the information you put on it. Walls are not the only location in a school classroom that are suitable for a classroom display. There are other options available such as:
• Classroom doors
• Classroom windows
• Storage cupboard doors
• The front panel on the teacher’s desk
• Mobile display on wheels (can be wheeled away when not in use)
• Table top display (can be folded down when not in use)
The location needs to be easily visible so that it reaches its full potential. If it is an interactive display board you need to make sure that it’s easy to get to and can be reached by all children. Consider the walk way to the display board and make sure there are no safety concerns or obstructions i.e. furniture in the way or directly behind the door.
Finding the right display board is essential when preparing a classroom display. While a traditional wall-mounted display board works well, the vast array of different types of display boards available adds another layer of flexibility and customisation to your displays.
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