Clear presentation of information in classrooms benefits a cross-section of pupils, including deaf children and learners of English as a second language.
The challenge for teachers (classroom & resource) is to translate curriculum material into a classroom-friendly version to suit a range of abilities.
Classroom displays are one way to do this. Visual & pictorial elements in (fixed or soft) displays can convey key meaning in an uncomplicated way.
Pupils also learn context and new words if these classroom displays use headings with phrases and sentences instead of one-word headings.
Ten points for visual teaching at primary level:
- Illustrations give children context and meaning
- Clear layout & design and logical presentation of detail is necessary
- Use simple words for instructions when possible
- Short sentences are easiest for children to read and understand
- Use introductory text to lead into a question, but keep these separate
- Likewise, break questions down into short sentences
- Use pictures or images to give new words meaning when possible
- For classroom tasks, use verbs that children are likely to know
- When possible, use words without a double meaning for instructions
- Use activities in classroom tasks as an alternative to written answers
Finally, put yourself in the childrens’ shoes before preparing any resources. Read the material from their perspective and make necessary adjustments.