Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting Started: Step Three

Ok, this is the moment that you have been waiting for. You have been on a shopping spree, been busily printing, laminating, sticking and gluing and now you are ready to... hang your displays!

But maybe you are feeling a little bit lost... not quite sure what is needed... and just want to get something up on the walls. I will start from the start (a good place to begin) and will give you a few hints and tips to get you going with a simple display. An equipment list will be at the bottom of the post to help you to assemble your gear.

1. You will probably have four key display areas: Math; Discovery/Topic Studies; Art; Literacy (Literacy can then be split into Reading and Writing). For each area you will need some kind of definition of space- like a background color and borders, plus a title for the display. Stick with easy titles ('Math' will always be Math, whether you are studying fractions or square roots). I like to have each area with its own color scheme if possible.
2. Use thumbtacks to hang your background fabric (see Step One for the fabric debate). Thumbtacks mean that you can re-position and alter the fabric as needed. If necessary, use sharp scissors to trim the fabric. Once its in place, attach to the wall using staples (you don't need too many, as the staples in the border will also hold the fabric up). Tip: Try for a solid color of fabric- patterns and pictures can be overwhelming.
3. Use thumbtacks to hang the border around the area. Try to cover the edges of the fabric with the border. Try not to trim the border pieces too much- otherwise your stash will consist of a million tiny bits of border eventually. Once you are happy with it, staple it down. Tip: try using other items as borders- wide ribbon, child-decorated cardboard, old magazine pictures, bunting, flax strips (available from emporiums/ Spotlight). I found a mesh ribbon available in emporiums which can be good.
4. Hang your curriculum area title- it doesn't need to be in the middle, at the top either. Teacher resource centers have awesome pop-out letters for $10-$13 a packet. However, its easy enough to print out your own. I like to cut mine out of interesting wrapping paper/ scrap-booking paper/ thin fabric and laminate for durability.

Once these basics are up, you may want to hang some 'place-holder' resources until you are ready to hang student work.

This is the most simple and easy to create classroom display. Of course you can be way more creative and innovative with what you do- but this is a basic display that will stand you in good stead!

Key Equipment for hanging displays:
*Staple Gun*Staples (try dollar shops for cheaper options)*Thumbtacks*Small spirit level (dollar shop)*Sharp Scissors*Backing fabric*Borders*Title*Pliers (for removing mistakes)*Chocolate*

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