Tips to Make Your Displays More Meaningful

CollographyThere are several reasons why displaying children’s work is important.

1. It shows the children that their work is valued.
2. It can help engage parents in the learning process.
3. It can help inform you about your teaching processes.

The Value of Children’s Work

Displaying children’s final pieces will certainly show the children that their work is valued. But Margie Carter, an early childhood consultant in the USA, recommends going a stage further by documenting the children’s work process and displaying the documentation alongside the final piece.

This can be done by taking photographs of the work in progress. You can ask the children to explain what they are doing and then make a note in their words to go alongside their final work. You can also add your own observations of their processes and work which will help them to reflect on what they’ve been doing.

Depending on the activity this ‘documentation’ can be used as an aide memoir for the children to repeat the activity, or build on previous knowledge.

Engaging Parents

Parents can often feel divorced from the activities their child has been doing all day in a nursery or with a child minder. Seeing the processes involved in their child’s learning can help them to become aware of what’s involved. This will hopefully give them a better appreciation and understanding of what you are doing for their child’s development.

Helping You

Documenting the processes the children go through with an activity can only inform you with your teaching. You’ll know what worked and what didn’t. Some children may have been really enthusiastic for an activity, whilst others may simply not engaged with it. Making a note of these types of things will help you when developing your next activities.

Remember, what works with one group of children may or may not work with the next. But you’ll have a good starting point on which to build if you’ve made notes along the way.

More Display Tips:

Where possible put the displays at the eye level of the children.

Use the children’s work for displays rather than commercially bought or adult made displays. Children are more likely to look at and learn from their own work.

Display ‘in-process’ pieces as well as finished pieces.

Ask each child if you can display their work

Show work from every child – if they are happy for you to do so.

Make displays purposeful.

Remember, less is more, so keep your displays tidy and easy to follow.

Update your displays regularly.

Remember, you can display 3D objects on shelves and windowsills or hang items from the ceiling.


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