Our wall of effort has gone digital. Instead of posting the great efforts of our students on a wall by the cafeteria, we now proudly recognize them on our flatscreen. Using a digital media player, slides now rotate with names of students who have shown strong growth in reading and mathematics. We also celebrate the efforts of our students that have affected others through acts of kindness and service.
So now we have this semi-barren wall. In the future, it will be drywalled so that it provides for a cleaner aesthetics. While several of our accolades adorn some of this space, there are several empty sections that could be displaying something important. I don’t know an educator that felt comfortable leaving a wall blank.
So what are your suggestions? Really, I don’t know what should go here. Here is what we have for ideas so far:
- Take Donalyn Miller’s idea from Reading in the Wild (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and create a Reading Graffiti Board. The gold spaces you see in the middle would be covered with black paper. Then, students and staff members could use metallic markers to write their favorite quotes from books they have read or are currently reading.
- Classrooms could print and post pictures of the students at work, creating a Visual Learning Mural. Parents often express their desire to see what is happening in school. Grades and assessment reports don’t provide the whole picture. And as we know, students are not always very good about articulating what they learned on a daily basis with their parents.
- Our focus this year as a building is informational writing. Our expected outcome is for the vast majority of our students to produce at least one quality explanatory paragraph. What if this space was designated as a Writing Mastery Wall? Teachers would submit what they felt was exemplary writing to me, and I would attach that piece of student work to the wall with the student’s grade level noted. The purpose of this project would also posted on the wall. Teachers would be encouraged to refer to the Common Core State Standards and the district curriculum when they determined as a team what was worthy for the wall.
What are your thoughts? Do you think one of these ideas works best for our wall? What other ideas do you have? Please share in the comments.