This is the time of year that teachers are getting their rooms ready for their students to begin the next school year. We have been taught that our classrooms should be "print rich" and to some, this means "let's put up a lot of cute "stuff" and fancy bulletin boards, but; I have a question for you to reflect on. How is what you are putting on your walls and on your bulletin boards helping to create independent readers, writers and thinkers? If you cannot effectively answer this question, it's time to rethink what you are putting on your walls.
The article Children and Place: Reggio Emilia's Environment As Third Teacher (Strong-Wilson and Ellis, 2007) describes the walls as a third teacher in the classroom. We are in the age of teacher created materials and we see lots of cute and creative things all over teachers-pay-teachers and other site that teachers can use to aid their teaching and make their classrooms pleasing to the eye. I just have a word of caution about what, how, and how much to doing when working with this "third teacher".
Kristine Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli wrote a book in 2012 titled: " Smarter Charts". This book offers some helpful tips for the charts and tools that you place on your classroom walls. They say effective charts:
Anchor Charts are tools that support the visual learner and reinforce learning of students with other learning styles. Visual Learning Theory tells us that if students have a visual that represents something they have learned they can better synthesize that learning. Mraz and Martinelli also talk about different types of charts in their book. The charts fall into
Martinelli, M. & Mraz, K. (2012). Smarter charts, K-2. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
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Pearl Garden, Ed.D has completed her dissertation research involving understanding the vocabulary instruction practices of early grade teachers. She has a passion for the new and novice educator, and it is her goal to help educators tackle the achievement gap with her research findings. She will use this blog to share what she has learned in “pearls of literacy”. The ideas come from her dissertation titled “A Content Analysis of the Vocabulary Instruction Habits by Early Grade Teachers”.