When it comes to hallways, the norm is to ask teachers to display student work for the sake of appearances – so that when parents walk through the building – it looks like students have been working on some awesome projects. Which is fine, I mean what parent doesn’t love to see their child’s latest piece of art or their story hung up outside the classroom? But what if hallways could both show off what students have been working on and become interactive learning spaces at the same time? What would that look like and how would it impact student learning?
Imagine walking through a school where teachers were asked to create interactive learning experiences outside their classrooms. There might be projects hung up that have spaces for students and/or parents that pass by to comment or ask questions about them. Or perhaps classes might set out math challenges or games on topics they had been learning about for others to try and solve, or mini-science experiments for others to attempt. And it doesn’t need to be limited to mainstream subject areas; speciality areas could also be included. Maybe the wall outside the art room becomes a communal project where anyone at the school can contribute their bit to it, or the walls outside a gym might have instructions for fitness challenges students created for anyone to try, and the modern languages hallway may have foreign language riddles that classes came up with for others to solve …. The possibilities are endless and so are the benefits for a school as a learning community as both parents and learners would be encouraged to be part of a communal learning experience
Hallways shouldn’t be seen simply as empty walls to fill for the sake of filling, but rather as a way to extend and fuel what is already taking place at your school. Have a look at your hallways – what changes can you make to turn your corridors into engaging and meaningful learning opportunities? Extending beyond your hallway walls, what changes could you make to your outdoor learning spaces? We’d love to hear any inspirational ideas you may have!
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