We were taught that a student's work was the product of an individual or group activity and a mark of specific quality and individuality of the person who had created it. As such, for us, practitioners, this product is an excellent “source“ of information about a student.
We can notice by carefully analyzing this product typical mistakes of a class and the mistakes of an individual student and, on the basis of this, we can take our next didactic and methodical actions. We can reveal a student's view on a problem or its aspect and estimate the richness of his/her vocabulary, ability to connect parts in a unique and harmonious whole and much other invaluable information about our good and less good, not to say bad didactic and methodical actions. But, let's come back to the question from the beginning of the text. Student work is a means for decorating walls because it is more pleasant to work in a space which is more beautiful, decorated and in a space where the spirit of students can be felt more than in the classroom with empty walls, whose only decoration is semi-dispersion and just a photo or two of Saint Sava, Vuk Karadžić or some other prominent person. By giving our own contribution to the arrangement of the work environment, the feeling of belonging to the group in which s/he works is also felt in students, by which the environment, and thereby learning, becomes more pleasant.
However, we should use the products of our pupils for the aims of learning so that they do not become or remain a means for showing off before others. How to do this? There are, of course, numerous ways, which depends on the type and character of the work, affinity and inventiveness of a teacher, content of a teaching unit and many other factors. If, for example, there is a mind map on the wall, representing a certain topic in an interesting way, we can use it for the consolidation of units in our next class or generation (why not). Students can present the map to the students from other classes, they can supplement it with new knowledge and if the map has been created in a way that certain elements can be moved, we can implement the games of rearrangement and require students to correct wrongly done parts of the map... Literal works can be used for the analysis of a dictionary, observing the structure of the work, stylistic and linguistic peculiarities and for the preparation for writing an essay...while art works can be used for encouraging creativity, aesthetic estimation and the like.
From the maths corner, we can see smiling bought or student-made models of geometric solids, nets of geometric solids, various formulas, mathematical board with tasks which students have made themselves, lines made of shoelaces, numbers cut out of cardboard, old-style classes and several small abacuses... and some other little things which we gladly use, most often in the introductory part of the lesson for the revision of previously gained knowledge or when teaching a new lesson. Students may then be asked to find something by which liquid volume, surface or length can be measured; to make a number, using appropriate figures (Arabic or Roman numerals), show a cuboid, count its edges, faces, vertices and the like.
The reading corner, apart from the literature which we have procured, has also the so-called reading house made of carton, photos of some writers, Cyrillic alphabet, Latin alphabet, posters with orthographic rules, students' diaries, characters from stories and novels, made of plasticine... and the central part in our music corner belongs to the so-called a series of notes – the notes shown as the images of players, with an interesting approach to the explanation of the distance, or a whole step and a half step, between certain tones. A triangle, a xylophone, hand-made rattles, a drum, sticks, posters containing the information about composers, ballet dancers made of paper... are also an integral part of our music corner. The corner of a first-year student emits individuality because it only contains the works of my only student – a first-year student, which makes it possible for me to keep all the works of my student in one place at any moment and to follow his/her progress.
I could write about this for hours, but since neither time nor space allows me this, it remains for me to state that we should pay our attention to students' works and use them for acquiring new knowledge. I recommend the links to photos to the readers of this article: the photos of the maths corner and the photos of the music corner, reading cornerand the corner of my first-year student.