Fully inclusive classroom environments can both support and enrich the learning of all children. With careful thought and planning, an effective classroom environment is used as an interactive resource supporting teaching, learning and assessment.
Displays are an important aspect of the classroom environment but can be time-consuming to create and their impact on learning is hotly debated. It is easy for posters and displays to become part of the wallpaper and for displays containing essential information for learners to be rarely referred to or used.
So how can we ensure that our numeracy displays are effective and useful for learners? We need to ensure that displays illustrate numeracy facts and strategies that are appropriate for our learners and relevant to the work they are undertaking. Displays should, therefore be progressive throughout the school and evolving throughout the school year. Aligning displays to the curriculum is a simple way to ensure progression and relevance throughout the school.
A simple table aligning displays to the curriculum for Wales: revised areas of learning for the FP and revised POS for KS2, shows that for angle and position a Reception class might have mathematical terms for movement on display, a Year 4 class might have the 8 compass points and a Year 6 class might have grid references on display.
Tables such as these can be a useful guide to the appropriate resources and images classes might display and should be further developed to suit a school and their learners. For example, a school might decide to have a checklist of essential mathematical information that must be on display and another for useful resources and information that could be on display at different times of the year. It should also be adapted for the learners in a class. If the majority of learners are not at age-related expectations, a display of age-related information would not be very supportive or relevant. It is also important for teachers and learners to retain ownership of their classrooms rather than having uniform displays throughout the school, but a curriculum-based progressive plan is an excellent starting point for schools focused on developing appropriate and useful numeracy displays.
Next month’s blog: Developing mathematical talk