May 28, 2015

If Walls Could Talk


If walls could talk, what would they say?  Well, for the case of my classroom and the other language arts classrooms in my middle school, our walls do, in a sense, "talk."  They hold a story and document a year-long learning journey.  As a literacy coach, the very first thing that I do when I enter any classroom is look at the walls because they cue me in on the language that is used in a classroom, common understandings students hold, and what the teacher values and wants students to be able to transfer into their reading, writing, and classroom behavior.  I am going to defer from my traditional blog posts and do a blog post centered on pictures of my classroom at the end of the school year.  I will let the walls speak for themselves.  If you'd like to see pictures of my classroom at the beginning of the year to see how it has transformed during the 2014-2015 school year, check out this link: beginning of the year pictures.







































Reminiscing always brings a hint of sadness to me.  Pictures tell a story, and when I look at the pictures from my room, I know that we have documented their story as readers and writers at every turn.  Next year, my students will begin with another blank slate without anything on the walls, and we will be able to dedicate our wall space to a new story as it unfolds.

6 comments :

  1. Interesting! You leave your anchor charts up all year? I teach language arts and reading to autistic middle schoolers and was thinking it might be too much visual clutter for my kiddos. I've got a dedicated space for the language arts anchor charts and the reading anchor charts next to each other. What do you think? Should I leave them out all year?

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    1. Hi Melanie,

      You are most definitely an expert with your students for what would be too much for them. A lot of my anchor charts I leave up all year, some I don't. What I like about leaving most of them up is that it shows our learning journey throughout the year, and it holds my students accountable for what we have learned. They can't really say, "Well you never taught us that!" when an anchor chart on that topic is hung right on the wall. Also, I constantly see students walk over to different anchor charts and find myself referencing different anchor charts around the room.

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  2. Great idea and resource. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Literacy Programme in India

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  3. These are fantastic! Thank you for sharing them! I teach Grade 7 and some of my students ask for copies of certain anchor charts. They like to keep them as reference sheets in their binder for homework or just easy access when working independently. Some have even told me that they still use them in Grade 8! Kids are so brilliant!

    Have you incorporated the use of success criteria in your program? I would love to see some examples, if you have.

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    Replies
    1. That is so neat how resourceful your students are! Anchor charts are a great thing to help students learn how to use resources to help them be independent and successful. I have not used the success criteria. I'm actually not familiar with it. Sorry!

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