"Yes!" "You can do it!"
"Great going, Micah!"
" Stay focused!"
Nothing is more inspiring for students than to hear words of encouragement and support from their teachers. As an educator, I would say that our students need a learning environment that motivates them by communicating clear goals and a vision of success. An easy tool for accomplishing this is to designate an area in the classroom as a 'Focus Wall'.
What is a Focus Wall?
A focus wall is simply an area in the classroom that you choose to display curriculum to direct students in terms of key learning targets for the upcoming week.Tweet: It is like a vision board that keeps your students continually logged in towards their learning goals! Specific themes, topics, skills and strategies are posted on the walls and are great for launching and reviewing units.
Where Can I Place it?
You make any central point in the classroom a focal point, however, they are more meaningful when placed at the front of the class, near or behind the teacher's desk. Of course, if you don't have wall space to spare then you can use a tri-fold display board which can stand at the front of the class.
Components of a Focus Wall
So what do you put on a focus wall? Well, a focus wall can be used in all curricular areas, however, it is mostly geared towards the learning of ELA concepts. Some suggestions for the layout of a basic ELA focus wall are:-
Title of Theme
Brief Overview of Theme
Language Arts Standard/s
Spelling Words/High Frequency Words
Many teachers add their own spin to this basic frame with one or more of the following ELA areas:
Story Title, Author, Illustrator
Essential Questions (for Common Core State Standards)
Words to Know
Enduring Understanding...and the list goes on!
Bottom line is that your focus wall is the place for putting curriculum learning targets for students to stay focused.
Examples of Focus Walls
There are a lot of examples of focus walls that you can find on pinterest or when you conduct a search on the internet for that matter. I included a few in this post.