Using classroom displays effectively
In activity based learning charts and classroom displays play a significant role. Charts help the teacher make teaching more effective. In fact displays could turn a monotonous and boring teaching into an interesting one. It gears up the comprehension for visual learners. Classroom displays can be of various types. It could be posters, cut outs, collage, paintings, hangings, realia, etc.
Teacher made or Learner made displays:
Traditionally, it is the teacher who designs classroom displays to use it as an aid for the teaching purpose. These are used for teaching. Some teachers even use readymade charts available in the market suiting the needs of their classroom.
However, constructivism approach recommends the students to design the classroom displays. These displays focus on learning. These displays fetch better learning experiences if they are made by the students. In an activity based learning class, pair work and group work can be best engaged if it is about making a classroom display. Giving the autonomy to the students to make the displays give them the joy of making and give them the sense of belonging.
How to use classroom displays effectively:
- Turn it into competition:
Organizing a competition for making classroom displays can be really interesting. Given the chance, the students will pour their hearts out to make the class look beautiful. By this we can understand that the classroom displays need not necessarily be made by teacher to teach rather it is the best tool which students can make it for their learning. Competition will make the display making a purposeful activity.
- Make it interactive
Should the classroom display be for display alone? What are the benefits of turning them into interactive?
Classroom displays are usually used for displaying certain content of the lesson or unit. Instead of making just for visuals sake let the students do some activities using them. Few simple activities could be:
- Write as many words as you can see at a glance at the poster
- Have a look at the poster. Close your eyes and tell or write as many words as you remember.
- Use the pointer to point the words I say.
- Teacher reads the words randomly from any poster or chart and students find out the word. The student who finds out the word wins or gets points.
- Find the words beginning with F or R, etc
- Find a word that rhymes with ………
This will allow the walls speak to the kids and the kids speak to the walls. This won’t allow the displays hang passively.
- Pass it over: The outgoing students can pass the displays to the upcoming students instead of discarding them. The upcoming students can then be guided on renovating them and reuse them.
- Make it easy to put up and replace: Hanging up or putting them up can sometimes be head scratching act. At the beginning of the academic year itself, the teacher can put up strings with the help of nails or even tie long threads to make it easy for the whole year to hang the displays. The teacher can use ‘used’ hangers for hanging displays. It can help the teacher to bring it down when needed and put it up again easily.
- Make the most from used materials to make it cost effective: Creating classroom displays is great but creating it with ‘used’ materials can be greater. Displays need not be made with brand new materials. It can be equally beautiful with the used materials. For ex: one can use the wedding invitation cards for using flash cards, used drawing sheets can be reused to make cut outs or collages, etc.
- Displays numbered odd and even: Large posters need not only be from one side. It can be from both the sides. Each side can be numbered with odd and even number like: 1 and 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The teacher can use the display according to the day of the week and the number on the display for ex: if it is Monday then the displays could be odd ones like 1, 3, 5, etc. Similarly on Tuesday it could be 2, 4, 6, etc. The teacher need not replace it all the time. He may just turn it around as both the sides are used for the display.
- Conducting an Inter-class classroom display test: What best could we make out of the displays than turning it into a test? A teacher can organize visits to the classes. A class can visit the other class and ask questions based on the displays. The students can be encouraged to answer as many questions as possible. As a part of reward the teacher can decide as to who did well either in asking questions or answering them.
8. Holding an exhibition: At the close to the end of the year the teacher can organize an exhibition encouraging all the classes to exhibit their displays. A visitor or a panel of judges can evaluate and award ‘The best class for classroom displays award’. To make it a larger event the exhibition can be kept open for the parents and outsiders too. Perhaps school day would be the best day to organize.
- Organize a MOCK SALE!: An innovative way to make it interactive would be to hold a MOCK SALE. The only way to pay for the displays would be to answering set of questions. The number of questions can vary depending upon size, proper condition and neatness. The bigger, more neat, better condition then higher the number of questions. They can offer heavy discounts (on the number of questions).
10. Renovate the older ones: Classroom displays usually start fading in two months or so. The colours used become dull. An activity to renovate the displays can be conducted. The teacher can divide the students into groups and distribute the displays randomly but preferably equally. The students should be encouraged re-colour the dull ones, outline the faded ones, paste the torn ones, discard some displays which are totally worn out or even allow them to mold it suiting their creativity. The group that does it in the given deadline and does it beautifully should be awarded.
The above ideas are the outcome of the discussion with my friends: Rohini Deshmukh Sankpal, Shivaji Vhatte, Balaji Ghule, Ujwala Bhagat, Mohan Bapat and many more.
- In the video below, Rohini Deshmukh Sankpal from Kolhapur suggests some ways to recycle the displays.
2. Ujwala Bhagat from Kolhapur suggests to organize a workshop for the students in the beginning of the year to teach them the process of creating, using and recycling the classroom displays.
If you too have some wonderful ideas on using classroom displays effectively, kindly share it.
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