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Friday, May 30, 2014

Here are some great articles on the use of wall displays. Take a look. They will help you plan for next year. Courtesy of Choice Literacy.

The Big Fresh Newsletter from Choice Literacy
May 24, 2014 - Issue #384

Walled Readers
A boundary is not that at which something stops, but that from which something begins.

                                               Martin Heidegger
This spring I visited Gigi McAllister's fourth-grade classroom in southern Maine. When I entered the room, my eyes were immediately drawn to a large and colorful display of book covers. Inspired by Donalyn Miller's work, Gigi has created a visual record of her reading throughout the year with four categories. "Currently Reading" is featured at the top, followed by the headings of "Just Finished," "What's Next," and "Read This School Year."
I asked Gigi about the display, and she explained that it was a challenging wall space to fill. It's an awkward spot, not visible from most of the classroom because it's wedged between the coat area and supply bins. Yet students see it first thing when they arrive each morning. They walk by it as part of their morning ritual of taking off their coats, hanging them, and then stepping over the threshold into the room.
Every classroom has a few nooks, crannies, and bits of wall space that aren't easy to use for instruction or storage. We often forget about them till the classroom is nearly bare in late spring.  Gigi uses her odd wall as a way to hold herself accountable as a reader -- if she forgets to update the display, one of her students is sure to remind her. The listing of books is a fun way to see how quickly a list of books read grows throughout the year, and it's a catalyst for dishing on new titles and authors with students.
As teachers begin to break down and clean up rooms, it's a wonderful time for rethinking wall displays -- which ones build and refine thoughtful work, and which ones have lived beyond their usefulness. Wall displays are our focus this week -- enjoy!
Brenda Power
Founder, Choice Literacy


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[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links,  follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracy or Facebook:
Katherine Sokolowski writes about how she handles the challenge of Creating Anchor Charts with Multiple Classes using the same classroom:
The Chartchums blog has advice from Valerie Geschwind for using wall charts to record classroom talk:
Do your classroom walls need a refresh? Do students even refer to the materials you've posted? Margaret Berry Wilson shares some questions to ask yourself as you think through wall displays in If Classroom Walls Could Talk from Responsive Classroom:
Franki Sibberson leads the online 12-day course The Tech-Savvy Literacy Teacher June 5-16. This interactive course includes three webinars, Franki's newest book, a professional development DVD, and an introduction to scores of resources on the web. For more details and to register online, visit this link:

Will you join us July 16-17 in Wrentham, Massachusetts for the Coaching the Common Core Workshop? The two-day event includes presentations by Jennifer Allen, Clare Landrigan, Tammy Mulligan, and Jason DiCarlo. For details and to download an informational brochure, click on this link:
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