Using a Focus Wall to Motivate and Engage Students

Using a Focus Wall to Motivate and Engage Students

Are you looking for a way to motivate and engage your little learners? One way I like to include my students in the learning process is by setting up and using a focus wall daily.

What is a Focus Wall?

Focus walls are a section of your classroom or home where students can see visual reminders of their learning targets. The great thing about a focus wall is that you can set one up anywhere- bulletin board, the fridge, or even your kid’s room. You just want it to be in a central location so students can refer to it throughout their day. 

focus wall preschool prek kindergarten

Benefits of a Focus Wall

Focus walls aren’t just a pretty part of your classroom decor (although they can be pretty cute!), but a valuable tool in your teacher toolbox. Students use the visuals to remind them what they are focused on learning that day or week. In a Pre-K classroom, this would be things like the color of the week, shapes, letters, or sight words. Focus walls not only help kids but help direct teachers through circle time. 

Focus walls are a focal point for your morning meeting or circle time. When we gather together around the wall, we review our learning targets for the day and week and add any new ones. I like to involve the kids by asking them to tell me what we are learning and choosing someone to add to the wall. 

Setting Up a Focus Wall

The first thing is deciding where to set up your focus wall. You want to choose a spot where kids can see the topics during gathering times but also throughout the day. This is also great for older students as they are learning to write because they can refer to the wall for spelling! 

focus wall preschool prek kindergarten

Once you have your spot, you can print all your chosen headings and topics. My Boho Focus Wall has nine different headings (number, color, letter, sight word, ASL, weather, day, season, month) in two different styles. If you need any other headings, you can add your own in an editable PowerPoint file that is also included. 

For the cards that get changed out (also included), I like to use a mixture of pictures and text. You could also adjust this as the year goes on and your students learn and grow. That's the great thing about focus walls- they are a living part of your classroom that can be changed and modified as you go.   

focus wall preschool prek kindergarten

Next, I like to laminate each item so they don’t get torn up by little hands. I also add velcro dots on the back so that students can independently take down and put up cards on the Focus Wall. This helps them take ownership of their learning and classroom. 

If the concept of a focus wall is brand new to your students, I would recommend only introducing one or two elements at a time, to begin with. Once you have introduced them all, using the focus wall will become second nature to your kids and they will love the predictability of knowing where to find the answer to the common question "what are we learning about today?".

If you are wanting to add my boho-style focus wall to your classroom you can find it as part of my Boho Classroom Decor Bundle or on its own here

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