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How to create creative and engaging classroom displays

Welcome to part four of the Smarter Spaces 'How to' series, bringing you a range of top tips on how you can make simple additions to your learning environment, which can make a huge difference to your learners. In this fourth guide, teacher and blogger Lois Wood shares her top tips on how you can make creative and engaging classroom displays.

Marvellous medicine classroom display

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

From thinking about which topic each display board will be to what brilliant material is going to go on it, preparation is key to creating a brilliant classroom display. To save time, plan next half terms topic in the previous half term to allow a stress-free transition.

Cut, laminate, cut

Vocab cards, topic information and backing are the staple of every classroom display board but check your school's display policy beforehand so you know what's expected and how creative you can be. Don't forget to cut out and laminate your materials as they will last much longer. What's more, the next time you or a colleague come to use the display it will look as good as new!

Topic, theme or subject?

If your display board is on a specific topic think about what’s associated with the subject. When you think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory brown and purple come to mind so plan something around these colours. If you're looking at plants use shades of green for the background and border.

If you have a plain display background you can afford a busy border but if you have a busy background keep the border simple. Avoid busy on busy because it will blow everybody's minds and not in the way we're after!

Title and content

Now that you've got your backing, border and vocab cards ready you can begin bringing an empty and drab board to life! Add your title first as this should be the focal point of the display - this can be banners or lettering and be creative... the title doesn't always have to go at the top and you can get some great material from Twinkl!

Once you've got your title sorted, add your other materials around key vocab, learners' work, facts and posters. The content you have for your board will depend on whether you're at the start or end of a topic so don't worry if this changes.

Get hands on!

A great classroom display usually encourages learners to engage or interact with it. Key questions are a simple way to do this, but there's more!

If your topic is materials, create things for your learners to touch and describe the texture. Or why not use fact files or things your learners can take off the display to read? You could also create something that your learners need to order and sort. If you're planning a maths board, get them to organise odd and even numbers, number bonds or times tables.

Pimp my board

Now that your classroom display board is complete why not think about other creative ways to add to your display board that relates to the theme or topic? If your topic is plants, why not find or make some ivy? Get your learners involved too and ask them to cut out leaves and really go to town jazzing up your border.

Stay tuned for more top tips as next week Lois will reveal how to spruce up your classroom in ten easy steps.

Lois Wood is a primary school teacher at the Forest Academy in Barnsley. She shares her love of classroom displays through her blog Teacher Traumas and is on Twitter.