Tag Archives: wall display

347. Maximising space

As you start to plan the layout of your (new) classroom, I have a handy little tip for you. It’s really useful to have key dates up in the room, but where to put them. Print them out and you lose valuable wall display space, odds are you’ll forget to update it during the year. Put it on the whiteboard and you risk some scamp (or over enthusiastic colleague) wiping them off the board.

How about a blackboard?

This is sticky back blackboard vinyl that you can get very cheaply from places like ‘The Works’ or Amazon. You can cut it to size and put it on any flat surface. I’ve put it on the back of my desk and used chalk pens. Once they dry they take some effort to remove.

Students have already noticed it and have said they like having a big picture of what’s going on next term.

326. Instant whiteboard

Welcome back to school!

I must say your display boards look lovely …

What’s that? You could do with another whiteboard

Why would you need that? They’re not cheap you know!

To help you actually teach? You’ve never needed the space before…

Oh … you have needed the space … you have raised this before …you’re still waiting …

Why didn’t you say! I’ll put you on the list for when we have some spare funds & time

You know the feeling – you could do with more space, but there just aren’t the funds to do anything about it. I initially needed an extra notice board because two form groups were going to use my room. We have a split lunch and I thought it only fair to give the other tutor some space. The idea of those ‘magic whiteboards’ was nice, but they are flimsy and expensive. They’re also pretty useless when you have a rough breeze block wall. Rummaging around Amazon I found some extra thick sticky back whiteboard roll, which was half the price of the ‘magic’ ones. There are a lot of different makes and sizes of roll depending on your needs. I bought a long narrow roll and cut it in half: it fits splendidly on my double doors. The quality is good too, however I think they’ll need a bit more TLC than a heavy duty whiteboard.

So, I’m feeling rather chuffed by my ingenuity when I discover they’ve changed our form rooming and I’m no longer sharing with another form. Nevermind – one board for form notices and one board for homework reminders!

If you like the look of mine it was by Rabbitgoo on Amazon. They are different sizes and prices so I haven’t put a specific link. The description of the one I bought is: Thick Whiteboard Chalkboard Wall Sticker 44.5cm×200cm Thickness:0.18mm

325. Mrs D’s Delightful Display

Anyone else been purging their classrooms of ragged wall displays ready for a fresh start in September? But then you end up rushing displays ready for the Autumn Y6 open evenings? And you need to get to know your new classes too!

Mrs D had a splendid plan to address all these issues. The first step was to introduce the problem: step through a piece of paper. It’s a classic problem involving maximising perimeter – I remember seeing it in a children’s Annual as ‘The journey through a postcard’.

This isn’t the easiest of tasks and takes a fair bit of determination and patience. Teamwork skills are also helpful. You can really get to know your class with this activity.

Once they’ve figured out how to do this you can reflect on how they overcame obstacles. All of this can be pulled together to make an amazing wall display on problem solving.

Thank you to the excellent Mrs D for allowing me to share her idea!

285. Circle Theorem Construction

When you Google the phrase ‘Circle Theorem paper plates’ you will see some stunning work from teachers (and their pupils) from around the world. Today I tried this idea out and I can vouch for its usefulness as a revision tool.

If you are short on display space or need a stable, minimum staple solution, try this:
Use split pins to join the plates together. They are stronger than tape and more flexible than staples, which can tear.

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Get creative – I made a triangle, but you could make a chain, other shapes or even an archway around your door frame. Once you have connected your plates, you need far less staples or sticky tack to attach them to the wall.

272. Mr Men Maths Mobiles

Are you a fan of ‘The Mr Men’? Are you a hopeless Maths geek? Get yourself over to SolveMyMaths!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned the brilliant Maths Mr Men and Little Misses before. Here is what I did with the set I printed and laminated (click on each picture to enlarge):

MrMen3

There are three sections to this display: the title tetrahedron, the mobile and the invisible wall.

Title tetrahedron

MrMen4

You will need: six garden canes, four strong elastic bands, sugar paper, tape and your title.

It’s a straightforward tetrahedron made from canes, with the corners secured with elastic bands. Then stick your title to the paper and wrap it around one face, trimming sticky-out bits and securing with tape. It ‘s a good way to make sure no one accidentally walks into your mobile.

The mobile

MrMen1

You will need: four wire coat-hangers, tape, Mr Men cards, fishing line and your title

My mobile is long and narrow because of the space I hung it in. The title hanger has been stretched into a rhombus shape and had a long loop of fishing line attached. The ends of the line were covered in white duct tape which you can see at the bottom of the title as a white triangle. The title was attached front and back.

The lower hangers were bent into a ‘C’ shape by pushing the straight base of the hanger upwards. Tape was wrapped near the ends of each arm to ensure the hanging shapes don’t slide along. Fishing line is threaded through the loops at the end of the arms and knotted. The knots are concealed inside the Mr Men cards, which were one sided. When I attach the remaining hangers to other things I squeeze the hook closed and cover the join in duct tape – it saves it unhooking later.

Invisible wall

MrMen2

You will need: duct tape, fishing line, wide Mr Men cards, sellotape, two coat-hangers and an old metre stick (or equivalent).

I found an old, split metre stick in the back of the stockcupboard and covered it in duct tape to make it safe. I marked out three Mr Men card widths across and attached long lengths of fishing line. The knots were held secure and camouflaged by more duct tape. I bent the two coathangers into the C-shapes mentioned earlier and hung them in the final position. The next bit is tricky – you need to knot your fishing line to each arm of the coat-hangers whilst ensuring you keep the line parallel and the hangers level. I found standing on the metre stick was very helpful!

That’s your invisible ‘wall’ set up – now for the wall display!

Attach your first two Mr Men cards between lines 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 by wrapping tape around the ends of the cards, encasing the line at the very end. Attach your third card above the first row between lines 2 & 3. Keep repeating until you wall is complete. I decorated the hangers with extra cards.

Safety

As you can see, my display is hanging off a metal stair case. For safety, I flattened the coat-hanger hook against the stair rise and sealed it with duct tape so no one will catch their toes.

Observation

I’ve already seen a student stand in-front of the display and discuss it with her teacher and lots of students are actively looking/reading as they go up the stairs. It’s only been up two days and it is a talking point. It’s sure to grow as there are more Mr Men & Little Misses that I haven’t yet printed.

Thank you @solvemymaths!

 

254. Laminated Feedback

I love tessellation! You get the chance to be a bit more artistic and creative. I’m a fan of this particular website too: http://www.tessellations.org/ The website has examples of fine art and student work, how to make different types of tessellations and even 3D tessellations.

Now I’m sure we all often use tessellation as a homework – the ‘Finish off your amazing classwork at home’ kind of thing. When collection time comes you get many different standards of work:

  • Beautiful felt pen designs
  • Beautiful coloured pencil designs
  • Designs that started well and went a touch wobbly when they were rushed
  • Beautiful, but slightly wrong designs
  • Beautiful to begin with, then got crushed in a bag designs
  • Didn’t do the homework designs

All, apart from the last case, can be enhanced and developed with the use of a laminator and a guillotine.

Why a guillotine?
To trim off rough edges and forgiveable errors where the student got muddled at the edge of the paper.

Why a laminator?
Laminating the work flattens out any crushed/folded bits. It also preserves decorative edgings when the work is on the wall.

Students who spend ages with coloured pencil produce lovely work which just doesn’t stand out:

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However, laminating it makes the colours more vibrant:

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It’s hard to show the difference in a photograph, but take my word for it – it works!

You mentioned feedback?
It’s tricky to feedback on visual work without writing an essay or scrawling over the work. A simple solution is to use a marker pen to write on the laminate. Hand out the laminated work and board pens. Students can critique each other’s work by drawing around the individual tiles and annotating them, any errors can be highlighted and other comments made. The wipe-off pens make it less threatening and avoid permanent marks. The great thing is that the original work is not damaged and all comments can be removed with a damp cloth. Of course if you are using this for a wall display teachers may want a more permanent pen for feedback.

Final display

These works of art will be more hardwearing than your average display. You could hole-punch the corners and tie them together to make a wall hanging. You could laminate work back to back and hang them from the ceiling. You could even use the wall hanging as a temporary curtain if you have a rail in your room.

229. Speed Camera Maths

Speed Cameras are so last century: discerning law enforcement agencies favour the Average Speed Camera!

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These motorway delights timestamp when you go through certain checkpoints and calculate your speed between them. No complicated laser guns required, just number plate recognition and a little distance/time calculation. This already sounds like a KS3/4 class activity or a Mechanics A-Level starter.

Equipment
Squared paper
Pencil
Ruler
Coloured pens
Calculator (optional)

Question
Can you find three different (safe) strategies for staying on the right side of the law through extended roadworks? You must average 40mph over 12 miles (original speed limit 60mph).

Visual Prompt
To start off with just draw out blank axes and discuss how you could visually represent this problem.

Idea 1
A distance-time graph

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Idea 2
A speed-distance graph

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Idea 3
A speed-time graph

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The straightforward option
How long should it take you to get through the roadworks if you stick to exactly 40mph? What does this look like on a graph? Which type of graph shows this information best?

Top Gear Alert
The boy racer wants to go fast, but avoid a ticket – what could he do?

Hint
What does ‘Average Speed’ actually mean?
Can you instantly jump between speeds?
Is acceleration going to effect your calculations?
What assumptions should you make about acceleration?
Do you need to work out the area under the graph or the gradient at all? How will you do this?
Can you describe what is going on?
Is it safe/legal?

Outcome
Your students should be able to produce many different graphs of how to stay on the right side of an average speed zone. They should be able discuss their findings with each other. However the morality or safety of their driving ideas may be a topic of discussion for a later PSE lesson …