Focus Wall in the Classroom

Classroom Focus Wall

Classroom focus walls are nothing new, and to be quite honest there isn’t a set-up of focus walls that I haven’t tried! I greatly regret not taking pictures from my past focus walls, especially the year I partitioned a classroom wall with painters tape to create grids based on concepts within units. It actually wasn’t a bad idea, but it was SO MUCH WORK! I can’t say that I have one favorite method, because I’m one of those people who likes to change things up every year or every few years. If I do the same exact thing, the same exact way, I get bored.

I’ve added all of my classroom focus wall materials and resources to my TpT store as a 3rd Grade Focus Wall Bundle or a 4th Grade Focus Wall for 50% savings!

Focus Wall – Option 1

One option for a classroom focus wall is to keep all of your standards together. In the example below, I’ve included my focus standard for reading, math, and science. I didn’t include social studies and writing, because those are the subjects my teaching partner teaches. There is a heading for each subject and then an illustrated I Can Statement underneath the heading. Below the standard are the essential questions for each unit. Finally, there are illustrated l vocabulary cards for the standard.

Standards Poster

The whole standard is written at the top of each poster and there is an illustration or example for each standard.I punch holes in the top of the standard, grouping them by unit, and hook them together with a metal ring. You can use pushpin hooks in my bulletin board to hand them on. Switching them out is so easy! In the standard posters, I included math, reading, writing, language, and listening and speaking standards. I also included the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the Georgia Standards of Excellence for Social Studies and Science.

Essential Questions

I like to include essential questions on the focus wall. You can staple the essential questions or hang those on rings too, whichever words for you. I know that I’m MUCH more likely to keep up with something if it’s easy to manage and organize. If I have to deal with storage issues and clutter, I won’t keep up with it through October!

focus wall

In the essential questions resource, I included a full page option just in case someone needed it! I thought it might be fun to tape these to a sheet of chart paper and have students write responses on sticky notes. Then, students could attach the sticky notes to the chart paper.

focus wall

Word Wall Cards

After I take my vocabulary words down, I place them on our word wall. I cut out big circle letters and hand brightly colored ribbons underneath each letter. I attach the words with Velcro dots, and I don’t have trouble with them falling down.

The word wall cards come in four different versions and are perfect for any classroom focus wall! There are two different sizes, fourth page and half page. Each size comes with a white background and a chalkboard background. I’ve organized the cards by subject area: math, reading, science, and social studies.

focus wall

Focus Wall Organization

My favorite option is to organize my focus wall by subject. However, by doing this I only have enough room for math and reading, but I think there’s always going to be some give and take with classroom set-up. When I organize my focus wall by subject, I leave enough room for an anchor chart. I use the anchor charts from my TpT store, but chart paper would be great too! Once I’m finished with the anchor chart I group it with my other anchor charts and hand them in the classroom for students to reference as needed.

All of these elements together creates an excellent interactive, standards based bulletin board or focus wall. I do plan to work on the fourth grade version of the bundle. I’ve already created the individual pieces, but they all need the updated portions from the third grade version. I’ll be sure announce when they’re ready on Facebook and Instagram!

Hopefully, you have a few new ideas for a classroom focus wall. You can read this post for even more classroom organization tips.

13 thoughts on “Focus Wall in the Classroom”

  1. Ashleigh,
    When you’re done with the 4th grade piece do you know how you’ll be selling that? I’m a special education teacher working with 3-5 graders. Most of my students are working below grade level. I’m thinking I’ll just purchase your 3rd grade kit and use the standards for everyone. They typically are pretty close in math and reading only. What would you suggest?
    Thank you, I love your blog and all of your TPT products!!

  2. I have the same as Lynn Palin 3-5 grade Special Education students. When will the 4/5 grade bundle be ready for purchase? I am trying to be as organized as possible since data is a crucial part of Special Education.

  3. I would love to buy for Grades 3-5. I’m a 4th grade special educator, most of my students are lower than grade level so I was going to look into the third grade set, but I want to show them all 3 grade levels. How do I go about that?

    1. Hi there each subject area focus wall contains the same elements, it’s just words and standards specific to that grade level’s standards. I do have a large preview in my TpT store.

  4. Are the black math subject headings for your large focus wall available that say multiplication, division, etc?

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