Binder Rings To The Rescue! I love posters! Like many teachers, I normally post them in my classroom to remind students of strategies, rules, routines, or to motivate with fun quotes or sayings. That is all changing this year. Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be decorating, but my goal will be to significantly reduce visual noise and distractions. Over the years I have definitely seen that students tend to ignore posters that are up all year. The posters sort of recede into the background.
So to combat this, I regularly use my posters as part of my instruction. I refer to them when I’m introducing a new lesson or when reviewing a particular skill or strategy. I know many of you do this too! This definitely helps to keep things fresh, but it’s not enough! So, this year I’m trying something new. No posters. Wait! What? What will I do with all those pretty posters I made or paid good money to purchase? Well, I am going to use every poster, but instead of hanging them around the room, I’m going to use them as a reference center in the classroom. I used binder clips to attach all my posters together and I will hang them below my focus wall. I’ll pull out the posters I need to go with my lesson and display them. They will always be available for students as reference if they need to look back at something. I am really hoping this cuts down on the visual noise in my room. I want a comfortable environment with as little distractions as possible, but I want those posters at the ready when I need them.
I also feel this will keep my lessons interesting. I am a visual learner so I appreciate visual cues. The posters that accompany each lesson will provide fresh visual appeal, but they will be taken down at the end of the lesson so they don’t get stale. I will absolutely pull them out multiple times, but they will hopefully become a resource not a distraction.
In addition, I have color coded my reading skills and strategies posters in an attempt to focus in on particular skills in a fun way! For example, my MAIN IDEA poster is red, so when we are looking for text evidence of main idea we will use red to indicate our evidence. Simple, but meaningful use for those posters!
As far as what will be hanging around the room, I intend to have as many of my bulletin boards as possible be interactive. Again, this is an attempt to keep things from receding, keep them relevant, and reduce distractions. My interactive bulletin boards will continuously change as the students add new information. This revolving information will keep interest high and the students will have a vested interest in what’s happening. There will be is a sense of ownership and community that will add relevance to the display. So far I have planned a figurative language bulletin board and an independent reading bulletin board.
Please check in with me to see how this all works out once school begins!
I’m interested to know how you use posters in your classroom or how you’ve reduced visual distractions. I love to hear new ideas so leave a comment!
*Update: I successfully implemented the above ideas and will definitely be doing it again this year. My classroom felt less cluttered and the posters displayed on our focus wall were relevant to the lesson and objectives of the day. I always had the posters available (see pic above) in case any student wanted to refer back. Resources seen in the above photo can be found here.