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Tips of the trade: 26. Creating a work line

One creative idea is to use the "up space" - hang fishing line or thin string across the room at ceiling level and attach students' work to it with clothes pegs. Students can decorate their own pegs by drawing small pictures (smiley face, cat, bird, skateboard, and so on) and glueing them to the sides of the pegs. Then each student can easily identify his or her own peg.

Hang mobiles from the ceiling - a good idea is to ask students to make small pyramids out of cardboard. They then write on the sides poems, words from stories, favourite quotes, or anything else they particularly like which is word-based. Or they can write poems or stories on shapes that are then coloured in, cut out and hung from the line. These displays are easy to change regularly and can be maintained and updated by students - saving the teacher time.

Sheets of cardboard can be pasted in a line, along walls, as in a frieze. These can be decorated with shapes cut from paper or thin card, or even drawn on. Such friezes can be used to show the passage of time or events during a history study, or the plot sequence in a novel, the discoveries of an inventor, the progressive drawings or photographs of a class plant or experiment - the uses are almost endless.

It just takes some lateral thinking and not a lot of time. Students may have ideas of their own - truly "student-centred" education.

Angela Cleeton is a teacher-librarian at South Island school in Hong Kong. Have you any useful tips to pass on? We pay pound;50 for all tips published. Send yours to:

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