Getting Your Classroom’s “Vibe” Right – Part 2 of 3

In part two of our series we’re asking the question, Are you using wall space effectively by incorporating authentic print and tools to support learning? Based on research, and tested with hundreds of teachers across multiple districts and schools, CLI has put together our own best practices for getting the right kinds of posters and tools up in your classroom.

In June, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) released interim results from a three year study on the impact of CLI’s i3 program proving CLI has a significant impact on the quality of teacher’s literacy environments and instruction as measured by the English Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) tool.

So what are some things you can do now as you’re setting up your classroom that we know are effective?


  • Build the Room Together: Throw out those commercial print, “store bought” posters. Create space on your walls to be filled with student work, your classroom promise or “charter,” and other class-generated charts (ie. “How to learn when gathered in the meeting area” or “Strategies for figuring out a hard word”). Children will feel more invested in a space that they build together with you.

    Student Work

  • Label, label, label! Especially when working with young children, label different objects throughout your classroom to help support vocabulary development and increase their ability to navigate through this new space.

    Label the Room

  • Name It: Find at least 1-3 places where you can display the students’ names. Consider creating a chart titled “Our Friends” with all their names on it or adding their names to the word wall for the beginning of the year. When students first walk through the classroom door and they see their names displayed in and around the classroom, their sense of belonging will immediately develop.

    Name It

Click here for the first installment (Books) of Getting Your Classroom’s “Vibe” Right.

Click herefor the final installment (Space) of Getting Your Classroom’s “Vibe” Right.

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