Before I share tons of student work display ideas, let me tell you… I once loved creating bulletin boards. And by loved I mean LOVED. I would plan them in my head and tweak them until the reality matched the vision. At the risk of being institutionalized, I admit that I perfected them using actual levels and tape measures. Each was a work of art worthy of it’s own gallery premiere. People should have worn black dresses and tuxes as they sipped wine and stared in awe as they discussed the merits of my work.
And then the desire slowly fizzled and the demands grew and time became limited and priorities changed and now bulletin boards have become something else on the to do list. Occasionally, the creative bug will bite and I’ll whip up a masterpiece, but for the most part I try to keep it simple.
I have a lot of “interactive bulletin boards” in my classroom now. These are things like word walls, a weekly language arts focus wall, and my guided math workshop rotation board that are ongoing throughout the year. There are some boards, however, that I changed regularly. One example of this is my student work display.
To create a student work display, simply provide each student with a space on the wall that belongs to them. You could hang a background paper and label it with the child’s name. Let the student select what they want to display and allow them to put up the work they want to showcase in that spot.
If you are looking for student work display ideas for elementary teachers, then you found the right place! In this post, I’ll share my updated student display board for the new school year.
What is a Student Work Display?
A student work display is a designated space in a classroom that showcases students’ work. It is often displayed on a classroom bulletin board or wall.
Why are Student Work Displays Important?
Student work displays are important because of the following reasons:
- Student work displays gives students a sense of pride in their work.
- They motivates students to show their best work.
- By posting everyone’s work, students have the opportunity to learn from one another.
- Students feel like their work is valued when it is posted. This strengthens the learning community.
- Posting student work also shows what your students are working on to anyone who enters.
5 Tips for Creating a Student Work Display
Below are 5 tips for creating a student work display in your classroom.
1. Designate a Spot for Each Student
Provide each student with a space on the wall that belongs to them.
2. Label Each Student’s Section with Their Name and Number
At the start of the year, the display is a tool to help everyone learn the names and numbers of each student. Label each square with a student’s number before students arrive. I will soon add their names and a headshot photo of each of my new little friends.
3. Offer Students the Choice about What to Display
Let each of your students select what they want to display. Take it a step further and allow them to put up the work they want to showcase in their spot on the wall.
4. Make Changing the Work Out Quick and Easy
When deciding how you will hang students’ work, try to make it as simple as possible. This will help you to switch it out more often and limit the risk of the work being damaged. Below are some simple options to make changing the work quick and easy.
- Slip a paperclip over the back of the construction paper background. The child can slip his work under the clip.
- Attach a self-sticking plastic clip (same effect as the paper clip, but more costly)
- Mount photo corners to the background paper. This looks very cool and artsy, but has some downfalls. I found that the students are limited to the size of the work they can hang. Some students lack the fine motor skills to use the photo corners.
- Tie a line of string, twine or fishing line and provide each student with a clothespin that has his name on it to hang the work with.
- Staple a large Ziploc bag to the wall and let the students slip the work into the bag.
5. Change it Out Regularly
Students’ abilities grow so much over the year. Consider changing out students’ displayed work monthly to accurately display their current abilities. It can be fun to align it with the holidays that occur in the month. For example, October’s display could be foliage, Halloween, or pumpkin themed.
In closing, I hope you found these student work display ideas helpful! In my classroom, I had a narrow bulletin board along one wall in my classroom. I used solid color card stock alternated with black and white patterned scrapbook paper to create a checkerboard effect. I ended up overlapping the papers instead of cutting them. Truth be told it was out of laziness as I didn’t feel like cutting. However, I do like the staggered look. Next, I attached a black number cutout that I bought in a package at Dollar Tree. I printed my students names in text boxes with bold borders and stapled those on too. When school started, I take a photo of each of my students, printed them in black and white and attached them to their square with photo corners.
In my classroom, I assigned a number to each student and we used those numbers to make things more efficient in class. I used the number to label supplies, pencils, etc. The students wrote their number in the top right hand corner of all assignments which made alphabetizing them quick and easy. This saved me time recording grades and returning their work to their student mailboxes. This board also helped us learn everyone’s student number. As the year progressed, I use the space to display student writing. I often made photocopies of their writing on a reduced size setting to fit the space.
If you found this post about student work display ideas helpful, then you may also be interested in my Clutter-Free Classroom Teachers Pay Teachers store, as well as these posts: