Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Displaying Student Work: Lattice

When designing my classroom wall space,
my first priority is a place to display student work!  

As teachers, we know that students (and their families) feel more 'at home' in our classrooms when the walls surrounding them are personalized by student work.  Students also feel so proud to have their work on display!  And for me, when I walk into my classroom {even when my desk is piled sky high and my centers look like a natural disaster area} my eyes immediately go to the colorful student work on the wall!!  I can only hope the same is true for the visitors to my classroom...and that they realize learning is messy sometimes!  

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of wall space in my kindergarten classroom.  I'm lucky to have a lot of cabinets and cubbies, but they come at the expense of wall space.  I also have huge curtain wall between my classroom and the classroom next door.  This makes it difficult to find the space to create student work displays.

Fortunately, my teammates had the perfect solution!

I went to Home Depot and purchased 2 pieces of plastic lattice.  Each piece is 4' x 8' and costs about $20/sheet.  You definitely want some help getting them moved and hung!  My Mom and Dad help me get my classroom set up each year.  I'm so thankful for their help because I could never have done this on my own!!  (Sorry about the glare...ya' gotta love fluorescent lighting!!) 

Each sheet is hung with 3 pieces of sturdy (and cute, color coordinated) ribbon and metal ceiling hooks.  I already had my hooks, but I'm sure you can find them at the hardware store.  I had some plastic ones that I purchased at a teacher store, but I worried they would break.  Since this is hanging right over my literacy station area, I wanted to be sure the sheets were secure!  

Here is a close-up of the ribbon and hooks:

My sweet Momma worked really hard making sure the ribbons were exactly the right length so that the lattice would hang straight.  This is REALLY important!  Because the lattice is plastic - obviously - it bends.  So, if you don't hang it just right, it will ripple.  That's the kind of thing that drives me we worked really hard until we got it just right!  You can see from the first picture that there is a little ripple in the first sheet, but it looks worse in the photo than in really is.  I was trying to get the whole wall in the photo, so it was a weird angle.  It's not that noticeable from a normal vantage point.

I use colorful little clips that I found in the Dollar Spot a few years ago to hang student artwork on the lattice.   But, clothespins work great, too.  I love how simple it is to change out the projects that are on display!  No hot glue or masking tape!!  :)  HOORAY!!  I can change out the projects in about 5 minutes.  :) 

Since pocket chart stands take up soooo much space, I love using the bottom of the lattice to hang pocket charts for students to use during literacy stations.  I didn't get a terrific picture of this, but you can get the idea by looking at the picture below.  Again, I just use little clips to hold it on.  It works like a charm and is just the right height for my kinders!!  

I've seen other teachers hang the lattice vertically and perpendicular to the wall to create a little "mini-wall" or "cubby" between stations.  However, my guided reading table is so far away from my station area that I felt like it limited my ability to supervise the area.  But, it's a great idea if your classroom set-up will allow it! 

Even if you don't have a curtain wall, I would really recommend displaying student work on lattice if you have any kid of large wall space to cover.  From a convenience standpoint - it can't be beat!!  Putting up and taking down artwork is a snap!  And, I think it provides a pretty backdrop that makes the students' work stand out in a special way, too!!  

Do you have an Open House or Celebration of Learning coming up this spring?  If so, this might be just what you need to put a fresh spin on your classroom displays!!  And, when August rolls around, you'll be thanking yourself that you got this project done early!

Make sure to pop over and enter my Sight Word Snapshot Bundle GIVEAWAY!!  

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. I'm jealous that you can hang stuff from your ceiling! Our janitor took ALL my stuff down from my ceiling one weekend because of the new fire marshal. Let's just say it was NOT a very happy Monday.
    Polka Dot Kinders


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