Instructional Walls: Archiving Key Instruction

     This year our school has committed to really honing in on and implementing what we consider impactful learning strategies. This goes beyond our ever developing and growing understanding of rigor, relationships and relevance.  These are all shared strategies and observances from visiting other classes and schools wherein educators are making a huge difference in student learning.
     The strategy featured here is instructional walls.  Transitioning language and beliefs from word walls to instructional walls has helped us describe in better detail the desired outcomes we’d like to see in teachers’ rooms.  We are all familiar with word walls. Commonly, we will post key vocabulary around the room after, or sometimes before, we’ve gone over it in class [can’t emphasize enough the importance of key vocabulary]. Instead of posting the words out of context, an instructional wall shows the key vocabulary in action.
     Below are some great examples of instructional walls in my school and around our district:

Slides 1-5: These were taken from a high school math teacher. Its evident that she teaches Geometry and Algebra, each section of the room is dedicated to a subject – it shows vocabulary, calculator strokes and formulas, key learning! [Check this teacher out]
Slides 6-12 – This room shows a clear progression of learning and how information is tied together. Look carefully and you’ll see some familiar information [Check this teacher out]
Slides 13&15 – These are from a science/reading teacher in my building. 13 is cool because its a growing bank of all year words for different categories. 15 shows a plot mountain that 7th and 8th grade are working on. The pictures I took of the student samples didn’t come out well but you can see the model from which they were completed here. [Check this teacher out]
Slide 14 – In house math teacher – cool archiving of essentials. [Check this teacher out]
Slides 16-17 – A math counterpart from across district. Great key information! [Check this teacher out]

Some key points to remember for all these teachers:

  • These facts are left up in the room for students to use and refer back to as needed, classroom work or tests. That’s the most important piece – availability for students.
  • This information grows as instruction progresses, organic development. This information is rebuilt every semester/school year as information is introduced.
  • Common planning and development – Slides 1-5 and 6-12 are from side by side classrooms. You can bet these teachers have some agreed upon curriculum priorities

    Please share out any great examples you’ve seen. We have a desire and need to get better for our kids!

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