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Working Wall: Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ShadowMan, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan New commenter

    Am I the only one who doesn't see the point of a Working Wall?
    I can understand sharing objectives and success criteria and all that malarky - but these things need to be displayed in a big readable, copyable format on the interactive white board.
    If you fill your displays with a numeracy working wall and a literacy working wall then these blasted things would have to be huge in order to be of any use.
    I have seen many examples where teachers claim that they are useful i.e. here but how can any of these be of use when the kids won't be able to see all those little bits of paper from their desks.
    I have displayed connectives and openers and punctuation in my room because I constantly refer to them - but they take up two huge displays as it is - so that they are large enough for everyone to see from where they are. But I have been told that these are most definitely not Working Walls.
    Are we meant to just plaster a space on the wall with targets, vocabulary, objectives, examples, success criteria and then get the kids to go up to the wall in small groups to stand and ponder?? I just don't get it.
  2. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Me neither. Another case of The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome (TENCS).
  3. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    I don't use them. Have displays of connectives, story starters etc and a literacy corner with word mats and other helpful stuff children use independently.

  4. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    A classic case of the teacher doing more work than the children.
  5. whilst I agree with you in a way the way I use them in my yr3/4 room is each day I pick one child's work that has met the objective and highlight why/how then I enlarge it and whack it on the wall, at the start of the next lesson we have a quick look at why it is up there and the kids discuss it (most effective for Literacy) then I look for another piece etc etc the kids love having their work on the working wall

    just a thought1
  6. I've always had working walls up since I started teaching and now find it really strange in a school that doesn't use them. I'm introducing them to my class and they really do use it. They are different everyday and contain all sorts of different things linked to what we have been learning e.g. examples of good sentences, etc. I rarely do anything myself to go on it but spend lots of time with the children sharing ideas and discussing what we could put up.
    During the lesson the children are allowed to go and use it for ideas.
  7. Jen g

    Jen g New commenter

    I use them for literacy and numeracy because in literacy the unit of work often lasts for 2 weeks and it helps the children to remember what we have covered previously and how it links to the final piece of writing. Throughout the unit I write the children's suggestions on paper which is big enough to read by the children. I find the numeracy ones harder because the pace is different and quicker throughout the unit. Displays for children's work are displayed on a different display board or on corridors etc around school. I personally find them very useful:0)
  8. Not really.
    Shared writing on flip chart - would be done anyway - pin pin - job done. Kids write some great ideas on post its - they whack 'em up themselves and nick them back when they want to use them in the writing. Photocopying a good example of work or two isn't too much of a hardship - and the gains I've had have made it all worthwhile.
    At the outset of the unit you may need to do a bit, but likely that you already have these things to hand in readiness for planning (text type guides, success criteria etc).
    I'm no bandwagon jumper, but the working wall has helped my children thinklike writers across the whole of a unit. That's why I like them.
  9. In the interests of fair play - it does help that I teach upper ks2 - so kids roaming for ideas isn't tricky - I take the earlier point about visibility in some cases. Seen a number of rooms where the dimensions do not help.
  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Good lord. So that's what a working wall is. It's even more monstrous than I'd imagined.
    Can I get this straight? You change these over every day? And change them completely every two weeks? Can I ask the above supporters of the Working Wall if they have any life at all outside school? Sheer lunacy.
    Less TENCS than STFAGOS (Sod That For A Game Of Soldiers).
  11. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan New commenter

    This sounds sensible and useful. That's what I'm looking for - a practical and useful way of doing it - else there's no point. And I've seen endless examples of teachers who aren't really doing it for any reason than just having a working wall.
    Can't quite see how it can ever be useful in numeracy though as the topics change so frequently.
  12. Er, no. It takes about as much time to maintain as opening the door of my classroom and taking my seat. Perhaps a couple of sips of tea too, if we're being honest.
    Mine does not change every day at all - nothing like it - blimey, I thought my post was pretty clear. And there are not that many 2 week units that I know of. One ot two sheets go up at the start of a unit and then shared work and stuff generated by kids goes up - I cannot stress enough that my input is, at most, pin 1, pin 2, every few days or so. It has had an impact - much as I'd like to think it is just my "killer " input.
    Numeracy though? Don't do, won't do - it's all about common sense and whether it works for you.
  13. I swear I set up the above as a reply to nick909's post - apologies.

  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Yes glider, apologies, your interpretation looks quite manageable and makes sense. I was more referring to the one shown on the link above and others who have commented on sticking stuff up and changing it every day. The stuff that's on that link is, clearly, mostly stuff that the teacher has prepared. That, surely, is ridiculous.
  15. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Ha! I thought I was the only one who didn't really know what they were. I hear them mentioned all the time but never knew what they actually were (although i'm still not entirely sure).
    Not really my thing. I just hope my school doesn't start making us use them.
  16. I'm in complete agreement - hadn't looked at the link and in most of the cases illustrated, can think of better uses of the teacher's time. Thanks.
  17. s1oux

    s1oux New commenter

    I'd be totally lost without mine, though it seems a little different...
    In my Y4 class, I started with a range of different level openers and some carefully chosen connectives that encourage complex sentences. Then, every time we learn a new sentence skill, I add it to the wall. Already, we have ly openers, ing/ed openers / embedded clauses / 'when' sbordinate clauses and speech with an alternative to said + an adverb + an action.
    These are all presented on the wall in a colour coded way - the way we learnt them. In narrative, even the low ability children are really applying all these things already as they can 'tick them off' on a small diagram of the wall, which they stick in with their work.
    I know this sounds horrendous but I'm really proud of the quality of their sentences after just 6 weeks and the wall is directly responsible for this.
    A new girl to my class said that she loved it as at her previous school they never really learnt anything, just wrote stories. I'm assuming of course, that she did - its just that the wall makes it so much more obvious what she has learnt.
  18. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    This sounds like writing by numbers! Anyway, if you really want this tick-off approach to writing, you don't need a wall to achieve it.
  19. s1oux

    s1oux New commenter

    For the Low ability children, you're absolutely right - writing by numbers until they have practiced it enough when it becomes second nature.
    They need the wall as the tick sheet will just say, for example - embedded clause. The lows struggle to remember exactly how these work so they look at the wall and see a couple examples we did a few weeks back. They then only have to tweak these to fit their context.
    Without the wall, these children would just forget how to do these higher level sentences and would still be struggling with capital letters and full stops. Instead, every wekk they are practicing much high level sentences until they real, genuinely understand how to do it independently.

  20. Ah, where is the joy of learning?

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