Pimp your classroom

24 Jan

A good display can engage students, involve them, help them recall essential facts and more than anything make your classroom a nice place to be (remember you have to spend all day in there!)

Here are some top ideas and resources to help pimp your classroom…

Interactive Displays:

How do you measure up?

By far my most popular display is this one, a tape measure with various celebrities marked on. Students will be queuing up to see whether they are as tall as Katy Perry and never again will you have to mark an exam paper where someone has estimated that a giraffe  is 2m tall.

Calculation Corner

A good display if you have students who finish and you haven’t prepared an extension. It is just lots of numbers and symbols laminated and cut out, there are lots of possibilities for this:

  • Give students a target number and use it like countdown.
  • Ask them to use all the numbers and symbols to make a calculation which is correct
  • Model how you type something into a calculator

Level & Grade ladders

What do you need to do to improve? The dreaded Ofsted question, a simple way to combat this is with these level and grade ladders. I have adapted these from several sources, printed in A3 and stuck on the wall in a ladder type pattern. Students can check against them to see what they need to do to reach the next level / grade. I also have A4 laminated copies in a wallet underneath for students to check off with a white board pen.

Display students work

Obviously a great thing to do is display students work, they love this and it gives them real pride in their work. But why stop there? Often we have different classes studying similar topics so why not let one class ‘assess’ another’s work. When you put work up have a laminated sheet of plain paper stuck next to each piece, get students to write comments on here with a white board marker.

3D shapes mobile

We blogged a while ago about making 3D shapes from cocktail sticks and midget gems. The beauty of this is that the midget gems go hard after a week or so making the models perfect to display, I have hung mine from the blinds so whenever a question comes up about a 3D shape it’s ready and waiting.

Other display ideas:

Everyone has an opinion on this and I personally think it’s good to have key words and facts displayed, students have said it helps them remember by picturing it in the classroom. This is a good example shared by kute val on the TES, another version probably best for A3 is here.

Mr Taylor has made some fun posters for fans of the popular ‘keep calm’ range, I particularly like the ‘keep calm and use a pencil’ one which now has pride of place above my desk.

This great powerpoint has been shared by allisoncam on the TES, it consists of loads of optical illusions, great to print, laminate and put up.

You can use this resource to create a timeline, each slide on the powerpoint has a famous mathematician from throughout history, you may want to update to include some more recent discoveries.

Most of us have seen word clouds, this is a great website which allows you to make them in a given shape, I’m thinking all the different shapes made up of their properties!

Other fun things you can buy:

I have regularly blogged about using the windows for display, this is such an easy way to make your classroom a bit more interesting, buy the pens here and off you go!

Lots of places stock number magnets, these are great to have on a radiator or filing cabinet and are just another thing for students to interact with.

So go on, pimp your classroom… If you have any suggestions to add to the list, let me know I am also on the look out! Get in touch @numberloving and visit our TES NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

14 Responses to “Pimp your classroom”

  1. Darlena January 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Hahaha, I love the tape measure display. I can’t wait to use this one in my own class someday!

    Darlena O.


  2. Zoe Coomber (@_z_0_e_) January 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Love the Calculation Corner idea and the 3D shapes with Midget Gems – have used marshmellows before but they don’t last in the same way! Will be using both of these once I am back from maternity leave, many thanks!

    We spent a lot of time creating a more interactive display of levels / grades for our classrooms last Christmas – we call it Transport for Learning and its based on the London Skyline / Underground and Buses. I’ve uploaded a photo here: https://picasaweb.google.com/105500500297369117597/TransportForLearning#5701323954069574706

    Each landmark has a level/grade underground station sign, simple word cloud outlining what you need to be able to do (divided into 3 curriculum areas) and space to display pupil work at this level below. Then the buses along the bottom are all the using and applying skills. We re-use the buses and level/grade underground station signs in our lesson ppts, esp for objectives & plenaries.

    The level wordclouds are on TES (my user is newmrsc) – the rest is bit more difficult to share and requires a fair bit of time to set up!


    • Laura Rees-Hughes January 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      That sounds amazing! The picture link doesn’t work, but I can imagine it being great. On my way to your TES page now to download the wordclouds.


      • Zoe Coomber (@_z_0_e_) January 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

        Ah, damn – I’ve upload the pic to TES instead, under newmrsc called Transport for Learning


  3. Ann January 27, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Sorry to be cheeky but any chance we could have the tape measure display and the famous people heights? I think its brill!


    • Sharon Derbyshire January 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      Hi Ann
      If you look at the numeracy coordinator blog, there is the resource with the heights of famous people. I will shortly be adding the actual tape measure file, and more up to date celebrities to the resource section of http://www.numberloving.co.uk which will be going live in the next few weeks.


      • Jo Locke February 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

        Am very keen to have the tape measure display to put in my classroom – but I can’t find a tape measure to print! I would love to get it sorted etc over half term. Your ideas are inspirational by the way, thank you



      • Sharon Derbyshire February 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

        The tape measure will be available soon, once http://www.numberloving.co.uk resource section is launched next month. If you send me a direct message I can email you the copy in the mean time.
        Thanks for reading.


  4. Jo Locke February 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    How do I message you directly? I have tweeted you (I think) but I am feeling rather techno dumb at the moment!


  5. philargy March 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    My students love the height display. Even months after it has been up they still want to check their heights and see how they compare to the rich and famous. Great idea. Thank you.


  6. Michelle b (@Mikchippy) December 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    I’ve been trying to rack my brain to think of a simple way to visibly promote numeracy in the school.The literacy coordinator asked teachers to put a poster up with the name of the book they are currently reading on their doors. It’s simple, effective, visible and has people talking. I’ve yet to find a way of applying this to numeracy. I was wondering if you or your readers have any suggestions. Thanks! x


    • Sharon Derbyshire December 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      Maybe teacher could state their favourite or lucky number or clues to find the number of years teaching. Eg it’s a square number.
      Or number facts about the or favourite holiday or last holiday; for example you travel north from here, it is 2531 miles as the crow files, population of 30,000 etc
      Or “I used maths today/last week too.,,,work out class percentages…work out mortgage rates”
      Just some ideas !’



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