Gallery walks are a great way to get students out of their seats and moving around the classroom. Some teachers shudder at the thought of having all of the students out of their desks moving around the classroom at the same time, but in reality, it can be a very effective technique for classroom management. Your students need a certain amount of time out of their seats, and this will give them that opportunity. The most important thing to remember is to establish expectations before beginning the activity. Keep reading for some information on gallery walks, as well as some ideas for incorporating them into your classroom.
How can I use gallery walks?
Gallery walks can be used in any subject area and for any topic, simply by setting up your activity a bit differently. For example, gallery walks are great for math concepts such as number sense. Post about 20 different tasks around the room. Have students rotate from task to task, solving them on a personal clipboard. Students are doing what could have been an in-desk activity, but by incorporating movement you will increase interest and motivation. Another way to use gallery walks is to post questions on chart paper around the room. Have students rotate from paper to paper, adding their answer to the chart paper. This is sometimes called a carousel.
Another way that I love to use gallery walks is in the computer lab. When I have students create PowerPoint presentations for a certain concept, I like to use the computer lab for a final gallery walk. Each student opens her presentation on one computer and inserts a slide at the end for comments. When the gallery walk begins, students rotate from computer to computer, reading another person’s presentation. When he is finished reading, he types a positive comment on the last slide. Now when the gallery walk is finished, each person has a page full of positive feedback to read about their presentation.