If you've ever visited, or if you work in, an elementary school classroom, you're likely familiar with seeing colourful displays of students' work adorning the walls of the room. These displays are much more than images hanging on walls; they are actually quite beneficial for students, teachers, parents and anyone else who comes in contact with the classroom.
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Displaying elementary students' work in the classroom is an ideal way to boost children's self-esteem. Children are proud of the work they have accomplished and feel as if they make important contributions to the classroom setting when they see their work on display. Displaying all types of work -- exemplary pieces, as well as pieces that may not be so perfect -- is important, as it illustrates to children of all ability levels that they are an asset and that their work is admired and appreciated. When students' work is displayed, a sense of pride and purpose is instilled in children.
Displays of student work can be used as learning tools in the elementary classroom. For example, the stages of the life cycle of plants are reinforced when pictures that illustrate this scientific process are put on display. Works of art that illustrate students' family traditions allow children to learn about and gain an appreciation of one another. Abstract paintings or collages made during arts and crafts allow students to gain an appreciation for the varied points of view of others.
Not only do students gain from seeing their work put on display in the classroom, so do teachers. Teachers of the classroom in which the work is displayed can reflect on the lessons they have taught, as they are able to review the effectiveness of their approach when they view their students' work. Teachers can also use displays of student work as an assessment tool, as they can observe what students have learnt and gained from lessons. Other teachers may view students' work and use it as a model for future lessons that they may wish to design.
In addition to the academic and psychological gains that are associated with displaying elementary students' work in the classroom, these displays are also simply aesthetically pleasing. Students' work adds colour and life to bare walls, transforming an ordinary classroom into a vibrant environment that both students and teachers enjoy being in.
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