Monthly Archives: August 2007

Instant Homework Display 8

This display by Classroom Displays Flickr Group member quemarropa remains popular with visitors to the blog despite being four years old. I’ve just updated the post to add some more advice from the comments on her original photo.

Everyone, it seems, is searching for instant classroom displays and bulletin boards this week. This one looks like a really useful one, combining a display with a visible record of homework returns.
quemarropa says:

It’s available for free download. I attached magnetic tape along the back so it could stick to the side of my rolling shelves when students need to play. the rest of the time it hangs from my accordion wall from the book rings at the top

The original  site has long gone but you can still find the board & associated files free to download and print out with full instructions at TeacherNet РHomeworkopoly   The site suggests:

In order for a student to play the game, he or she must complete their homework from the night before and hand it in to the teacher. This is how the student moves around the game board. If the student does not have their homework finished, they don’t get their chance to shake the die and move for the day (with exceptions, of course). Throughout the year, day by day you keep the game going. By starting at the beginning of the year everyone gets into it and by the end of the year everyone is doing their homework regularly.

Recently Noreen added some more details:

i printed everything from the website onto cardstock, then laminated it. I used packing tape to stick the laminated board pieces onto cardboard so it would be sturdy enough to hold up for several years with plastic clothespins clipped around it for my students’ playing pieces. I created all the graphics/instructions in the middle myself (and no longer have the files to share since my computer crashed a few years ago). The pockets for the playing cards and brainbinders is just leftover laminate scraps stuck on with packing tape. I use “It All Adds Up” puzzles from for my brainbinders since there are a lot to choose from and they are half-pages.
Initially (five years ago!) I use the large rings at the top of the board to hang it out of the way during the week, and then used magnetic tape to stick it onto the rolling cart shown above on Mondays when students played. Over time, the tape wouldn’t hold up the weight and the holes where the rings were started to tear. I’m in another classroom now, so I just staple the center parts of the board onto a bulletin board, making sure NOT to staple around the edges so my students can still move their clips around the perimeter. Because it’s so big, they are allowed to stand up on a chair to move their clips on the top portion of the board. Something to keep in mind if you want your kids to be able to move their pieces themselves.

I Spy Science

Welcome Back!, originally uploaded by tuckett.

Here’s a really fun way to welcome a class back after a holiday. Every item in the cabinet relates to something they are going to learn in the following term. There are riddles to solve too:
The Riddles
Tucket says:

I used this idea last year because my own son was so into the I Spy books. I try to use some “easy finds” and some challenges in each clue. Easy to switch around, change, update, and connect to current unit throughout the year. Could easily be adapted to a table top box style display if no showcase is available! Children may begin to write their own science riddles as well! Good Luck. Have fun.

So, just for fun, if you’ve a bit of time to spare and an interest in science why not see how many things you can spot? Can you solve the riddles? Answers on the photo in Flickr or below please.

Plastic Bag Collage

Plastic bag collage

Originally uploaded by Vikellis

A collage designed and made by a Yr8 form, from used plastic bags. It was part of an environmental issues unit, and was displayed in the Hall, in an attempt to raise awareness of “the plastic bag problem”.

It can be hard to make meaningful displays in shared areas – especially in High School. There’s a tendency to go for the “Wow!” factor rather than to engage with the pupils. They are often seen as spaces for the school to showcase work to visitors rather than somewhere for classes to share learning and connect with the wider school community.

This one however, is a really good example of using the space to tackle a topical issue. The display itself may be a little messy but that suits the subject and it is obviously the work of the students rather than that of a TA. I think that’s one of it’s major strengths. This display sets out to engage and educate the school community rather than to impress visitors.

It’s good to see that there’s a regular flow of senior school work starting to appear in the Classroom Displays Group and I hope to feature it more regularly on the blog.

French – an interactive weather display 3

Le Temps, originally uploaded by LindaH.

This display was used daily, right from the start of term with a Year 5 class. A five to ten minute discussion, in French, right after registration. This Year 5 class had some experience of French in Year 4 and were ready to start to move on. A rota was set up so that each day a different child was responsible for the weather forecast session. The child took charge, with TA support, and the class answered set questions to provide the forecast in French.
The activity worked on days of the week, weather volcabulary and simple question and answer sentence structure. It took what could have been a boring drill activity to a higher level. It was particularly powerful because of the high level of interaction and because the children liked standing by the board, pretending to be The Weather Person on TV!

The weather symbols were taken from the BBC web site, printed out, and laminated. They were used in conjunction with the sentences as visual/kinesthetic aids to introduce the volcabulary. The whole display could be easily taken down and stored for further use.

Database Teddies 4

Originally by Elly

This is a lovely display for an ICT suite or a classroom. Databases are revisted every year in the current KS2 curriculum but it can be hard to make an interesting display out of them. In some ways I like the approach taken in the Greenwich scheme where the intial concepts are explored without using the computers at all. Greenwich uses clowns but the display could easily be adapted. The teddies (or clowns) could be used as visual teaching aids before then being moved onto the display.

Making the teddies can be a time consuming business especially if it’s done by a lone teaching assistant. Much better to have the teaching assistant make them with groups, especially children who need a multi-sensory approach to their learning. During the making of the teddies the teaching assistant can help the children start to explore the concepts they will need for the sessions. This is really valuable learning time and shouldn’t be overlooked. Ideally this can be fitted in before the actual topic starts. It’s always tempting to keep the teddies for next year but it’s much better to do it fresh otherwise the learning opportunity is lost.

A display like this can be built up over a number of sessions which helps to keep it fresh and interesting. Referring to it in session introductions can refresh children’s understanding of concepts and it can even help to form part of the final assesment if a formative approach is taken.