In my many years as a teacher, I have rarely had my own classroom. I have either taught in other teacher’s classrooms on a cart, or shared a classroom with one or sometimes even two other teachers. Therefore, I have never worried much about what should or should not go on the classroom walls besides my precious question words and a few basic commands.
But this year, I have my own classroom, and once I put my usual minimum stuff on the walls, there was A LOT of space left. What to do? “Super Seven”, “Sweet Sixteen”, rejoinders, cultural posters, etc.? I honestly was worried it would be too overwhelming and distracting for my students.
So, I decided to post nothing and waited to see what needs would emerge.
After a few weeks, I realized I really needed some time markers. Since we were constantly interacting in the present, the past and the future, I had to have a quick way to let students know whether I was talking about today, tomorrow, yesterday, last week, next week, etc. So this is the first set of posters that went up:
A few weeks later, I took down the screen that I never use (I project straight onto my whiteboard) and added what I call my “Usual Suspects” (to be, to have, to go, and to do) and four of the Sweet Sixteen. These are the phrases my students and I use the most apparently:
A few weeks later, I prepared a poster that I absolutely LOVE and will reuse in my future classrooms: “How to address the Queen and the Crowd”, basically essential “vous” or “usted/ustedes” forms. I point at this all.the.time when I address my students. I also have a crown in the classroom and sometimes a student becomes queen for a day and I address her with “vous”.
I am currently preparing a poster for the side of the room with the usual suspects and the four of the sweet sixteen in the past / present / future.
It is such a luxury (to me) to have classroom walls, I really wanted to make sure I would not overwhelm or distract my students, or force upon them what I thought was important. Instead, I just waited to see what language needs emerged and placed posters up accordingly and gradually.
How do you decide what goes on your walls?