materials


Classroom Displays Learn The Basics 5

If you are new to making classroom displays or you are not even working in a school yet there are some basic points about classroom displays that can be a bit confusing. Once you have grasped these basic things you might want to explore a bit further and join me in the 4 week online Classroom Displays Starter Course

As with most aspects of school life the first thing to check is whether your school has a displays policy. If it does then much of how you make displays in the classroom will be laid out for you there.

Classroom Displays – Boards

Display boards are usually backed with ‘fade-less’ poster paper which is more fade resistant than ordinary papers. Occasionally sugar paper might be used but it can fade very badly.  Other materials can be used but they have to meet the fire regulations. Teachers sometimes use fabric but it should be fire retardant. There are sprays available to help with this.
The backing paper is either in rolls or sometimes A3 sheets.

Classroom displays basic supplies

See more rolls and borders in the Classroom displays Book shop

These rolls might look rather bright and that can be an issue. I go into more depth about choosing suitable colours for backing and mounting in Week 3 of the course.

Make sure you know the school etiquette before you help yourself to the displays store cupboard.  In the coming months everyone will be looking for black and dark blue for bonfire night displays. Try to be a bit more original with colours and you will find display making easier and your displays might be more interesting!

Display basics- edges of display backing paper

Display basics, showing the edges of A3 display backing paper

Some schools use A3 sheets rather than rolls. Schools vary in their paper buying policies and you just have to be adaptable. When using sheets they are placed next to each other and attached to the board with staples. You can  see it if you look closely here, from a distance the edges are not visible.
Sometimes school use rolls of plasticised paper to provide a more lasting background. These can last a whole term or even longer. Colour choices can be a bit limited but it is easy to use.

Backing paper is usually stapled into place and can often be re-used for two or three displays depending on how well it has survived.

Round the edge of the display board we usually also add a border of contrasting plain paper. It comes ready cut on a roll. Sometimes borders are scalloped or have designs on them. Plain is usually preferable as it distracts from the work less.

Mounting Work

Children’s work is usually fixed to another sheet of paper to ‘mount’ . We usually attach work by using a glue stick. If you do it carefully round the edge and a dab in the middle then it won’t wrinkle.Work can be mounted on poster paper, sugar paper or sometimes on pre-cut mounts like the ones in the photo. Mounting can be single, double or triple depending on the look of the display.

A4 Mounting Paper

A4 Mounting Paper

When the display comes down work is often given back to the children but it often remains mounted. It can be carefully removed from pre-cut mounts but it is fiddly and work can be damaged.

When mounting work it is important to note the child’s name in pencil on the back of the mounting paper before you glue it down! Best practice suggests we should unobtrusively include a small name label on each piece of work displayed but that is not always possible.
Work is usually attached to the board by stapling the mount at the corners, ideally just catching it rather than piercing the mount. This is even more important with pre-cut mounts which are too expensive not to re-use. Use the stapler at an angle to make it easy to remove staples afterwards. Drawing pins are not ideal in the classroom for health and safety reasons. Blu Tack is sometimes used but it can leave sticky marks on the backing paper and sometimes falls off after an extended period.

Occasionally double sided sticky tape can be used on displays, but I usually had to provide my own! It’s too expensive to use for displaying work. I also found stick velcro pads very useful for attaching 3d items. Spray mount isn’t often used, partly because of issues with asthmatic children. I have used it myself sometimes on display items, but only when working outside school hours.

I hope this has given you a quick insight into some classroom displays basics. If you want to know more then why not have a look at the Classroom Displays Starter Course?

If you are a seasoned display maker, thank you for reading this far! Please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments section. What do you wish someone had told you about making classroom displays when you started?

 


Materials in Year 1- Tattiebogle 3

Materials display

Tattiebogle – a Year 1 materials display

A 3D Display

This is a lovely example of a using three dimensional element on a display to add interest. The scarecrow is stuffed with straw and dressed with a variety of fabrics, papers, buttons and even a feather. The children have also added scraps to their own written work which has also been mounted and put round the display. Photographs of the making of the scarecrow show the children working on him and sorting the materials to be used.

This display was originally sent to me several years ago and formed part of my degree research.

The display in more depth

Let’s explore the detail of the display in more depth.

The green and orange colour scheme works quite well for the subject. I like the choice of dark green backing paper as it shows off both the scarecrow and the photographs.

The mounts on the main board add interest and make the photos stand out. At first it looks like triple mounting but closer examination shows that the white is simple the border round the images. A slight quibble might be that the orange of the mount does not match the display border but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got! If the school has a policy of using scalloped corrugated borders then we need to work with that.  Displays are not about perfection and sometimes you have to settle for ‘good enough’!

The children’s work has been double mounted using the same colours but reversed and this works really well. The use of the narrow, bright orange mount next to the fairly pale writing brings the writing forward and helps to make it more visible. The green ties it back to the main display, showing us that this work relates to the scarecrow display.  I also like the way the work has been placed, using the lines of the brick wall to keep the work straight.

Tattiebogle

Just in case you don’t know the book I highly recommend it for key stage 1. It is a wonderful optimistic tale and full of opportunities for learning across the curriculum. The book can link with literacy and PSHE as well as with science. I really think it should be in every Year 1 classroom. Making scarecrows is lots of fun too!

 


Classroom Display – Materials, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ 2

‘Where the Wild Things Are’, originally uploaded by norirelibjk.

This excellent wall display was made for an assembly hall. Using the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ as a starting point this Year 2 class made up their own monsters using different materials.
'Where the Wild Things Are'
Assembly hall displays give a great opportunity for classes to share their work with the rest of the school. Hall displays tend not to get changed quite as often as classroom displays but it is important to keep them fairly fresh. I think they should be changed at least once every term. The subject needs to be even clearer than for a classroom wall as the audience will not have been involved with the work and so will not have much context for it.

In my old school hall displays were often put up in conjunction with a Sharing Assembly where the class concerned shared what they’d been doing with the rest of the school. It usually worked well and provided an extra opportunity for the class to reflect on not only what, but also how they had learnt about a topic.

This is such a lovely display and it is based on one of my all time favourite children’s books. I think every child should have a right to meet Max in his wolf suit and travel with him to the wild rumpus and be home in time for supper to be “still warm”.