Do you know how to make your learning walls interactive, so that all students can access them easily?
This is an important question to ask yourself when planning for the learning that is going to take place. Will your students come up to the wall and then mentally take information back to their desk? Are all of your students capable of doing this? Are you capable of doing this?
Memory is a really tricky tool to rely on and doesn’t support your learners at all – especially those who have trouble processing information before it is used. Instead, could you provide ‘take-aways’ in the form of vocabulary cards or checklists? Or another tool?
These are important questions to ask, as it’s one thing to display the information, but if it’s not truly accessible to all of your learners, then your learning wall won’t be used to its full potential.
You wouldn’t teach a normal writing lesson without differentiating for students that have additional needs – for example, providing printed copies of your PowerPoint, or digital text, so it’s important to think this way for your Learning Wall.
First steps? Well, interactive elements are my go-to! Not only are they an easy way to differentiate, but they add an element of fun and can turn a flat, boring wall into a vibrant learning centre.
So how can you make your learning wall interactive? Some of my favourite ideas include:
- Printed copies of information on the wall that students can take back to their desks: text examples, checklists, how-tos, diagrams, mini-anchor charts. You can print these much smaller so they are mini-versions
- Pockets that hold information, such as question stems, vocabulary, sentence structure
- Hooks to hold rings of common words, sight words, adjectives, superlatives
- Hooks to hold copies of books on rings
- Post-it notes readily available to pose questions or add examples
- Highlighters to highlight important information
- Clipboards to lean on at the wall
- Puppets/story rocks for story retells
- Interactive flaps on wall, displaying sequential information, or with questions on top and answers underneath
- QR codes to digital resources
- Using student drawings as examples
- Finally, we talk about levels of ability – think about literal levels. Make sure your shortest learner can read all of the information on your wall – if they can’t reach it, it’s not interactive.
If you can imagine it, you can add it to your wall. I think the most important thing to remember is that not all of your students are going to access your wall at the same level, and interactive elements can support those learners and bring your wall to life.