“Classroom walls should mirror closely the pages of children’s books.”
The recent words of a colleague and ones which have led me to question my own practice and learning environment.
I worked last week alongside a Local Leader in Education. In observing lessons, she spent a large portion of her time examining displays before summising that, used effectively, learning / working walks can and do play a significant role in supporting the learning of children who (and these are a group she singled out specifically) are not being guided / supported by a teacher or teaching assistant during a lesson.
Reflecting on what she had said, I realised the truth and wisdom of it. The learning walls she had seen, in particular for English, had been built up day-by-day over the course of a week. They were comprised of specific vocabulary generated through class-discussion; model sentences using that vocabulary written by both teachers and children using the structures being taught that week; and high-quality teacher model ,using both the earlier vocabulary and sentence types taught, of the pieces of writing the children themselves were aiming to produce at the end of the week.
Of course, learning walls will assume many forms to fulfil many purposes and some time ago I asked ‘colleagues’ on Twitter to tweet examples. Many were kind enough to do so, with thanks to @rpd1972, @ChrisWaterworth and @candacemccolgan especially, some of those are shared here:
Not so very long ago, triple-mounted, best-copy displays were still de rigeur. Have those behemoths now had their day, replaced by an alternative that impacts on learning in an ongoing way?
I like to imagine that they have.