Friday, 9 November 2018

5 Simple Ways to Make Displays Child-Centred

How many of you have spent hours making beautiful displays in your classroom for your children to not even notice them? I've definitely been guilty of that! I think it's the perfectionist in us; child-made displays never look quite as good as beautifully cut, straight displays that we can create, but they are so much more purposeful and effective.

One of the targets I set myself this year was to ensure my displays were much more child-centred, and it's been quite a hard thing to do as I often find that I stop myself from automatically creating displays that my children could play a part in, but it's fantastic to see how much the children use the displays to support their learning now.

In order to do this you need to shake that teacher perfection and change your view on displays. You need to embrace the ragged lines and scribbly colouring, the spelling errors and mismatched colours. You need to hand over control to the children, which can be a hard thing for any teacher to do. On the plus side though, you get to create your displays during the school day, so you get to go home early that day! There's always a silver lining...

So, here area few simple ways that I am making child-centred displays.
Photos and Interests - An incredibly easy way to make your displays more child-centred is to include photographs of children. Children love to look at photos of their themselves, their friends and family and by incorporating them into displays you will ensure they pay much more attention to your display.

It's also a great to include children's interest into displays in order to encourage them to use it more. Instead of heading to Twinkl to print out ready-made resources, talk to your children about how to incorporate their favourite cartoon characters or other interests they may have.

Check out how I have incorporated photos and interests into my phonics display.

Artwork - It's quick and easy for you to create a template for a display, but it's  much more effective to let the children do it. I've always been big on displaying children's work.  I try to use children's work as much as possible on all display boards as they are much more likely to notice and use them to learn, but also because it values their work more. Again, instead of using ready to print displays, get your children to make them.

See how I have incorporated children's artwork on our maths learning wall.

Interactive - I love to make displays interactive so that children can really get involved with them. It's easy to do this by adding questions, flaps to lift or games to play.

Check out my interactive phonics display.

Another great way to make displays interactive is to add a table of resources linked to the display. You can add artefacts or activities that children can explore to aid their learning and interact with the resources and information on display.

Learning Wall - Learning walls are a great resource to aid children's learning. They are updated with new information throughout the week or topic that reminds children about what they have been learning and provides them with useful information to support them with their future learning. They don't look particularly appealing to the eye but are one of the most useful displays you can have up. It's also a good idea to give children ownership of the learning wall so that they can add information that will truly benefit their learning.

Ensure you regularly draw children's attention to the learning wall so that they know where to find information to support them in their learning.

Children's Display Board - The best way to truly give children ownership of their learning space is to give them full control, and that includes  of the display boards. Create areas where children can display their own work. Display boards often consist of the work that teacher deem to be display-worthy, but who are we to decide that? If a child is truly proud of their work then why shouldn't they get to display it?

Alistair Bryce-Clegg has a fantastic book all about creating child-centred displays, which is filled with practical and easy to implement ideas. I highly recommend it! Click the image below to purchase the book.

I'd love to see how you make child-centred displays! Leave your links below :-)

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