How a Bump It Up Wall Can Improve Student Success

A Bump It Up Wall is the perfect way to show your students how to improve their work and increase success in any subject area!

Photo of bump it up wall with text, "How a Bump It Up Wall Can Improve Student Success."

Provide Exemplars

One of the most powerful features of a Bump It Up Wall are the exemplars you choose to display. These can be selected from anywhere. Some of the best sources for texts you can use are:

  • Student work (I sometimes save good examples from previous years).
  • Exemplar texts from your state or provincial standardized testing. I teach Grade 5/6 in Ontario, Canada, and use the Grade 6 EQAO exemplars from previous years' tests.
  • Create your own great examples!

Photo of bump it up wall.

I don't display my exemplars according to levels or grades, but instead choose to indicate which are approaching, meeting, and exceeding the standard for the grade.

Display Specific Success Criteria

Connecting my exemplars, I indicate the specific things my students must do to move their work from reflecting one level to the next. They can look at the "Not Yet" level and see exactly what needs to be done to their work to start meeting expectations.

Photo of bump it up wall.

Photo of bump it up wall.

Permanent and Flexible

The Bump It Up board itself is a permanent part of my classroom, but I can change it up based on the specific skills that we're working on. Some examples of how this could be used include:

  • Different writing forms (letter, persuasive, descriptive, narrative, etc.)
  • Subject-specific skills (using dialogue, organizing a response in math, how to write a science experiment, etc.)
  • Focus on the 6 traits of good writing (voice, organization, word choice, etc.)

Photo of bump it up wall.

Now, when my students complete an assignment for me, I send them directly to the wall to do some self- or peer-assessment. They compare their work to the criteria on the wall and locate areas where they could make changes that would better reflect a higher level.

Students have complete ownership of their grades using this display!

If you're interested in setting up a Bump It Up Wall in your classroom, but don't have the time to create all the pieces, I have one ready for you in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Click any of the images to grab a copy.

Bump It Up Resource

I'd love to hear about your experiences with performance walls like this one. Feel free to reach out by email and let me know what sort of Bump It Up Wall you've used in your classroom successfully!

You might also be interested in the ideas I've shared in this blog post:

Photo of person writing with text, "How to Get Students to Write Complete Responses."

You might also be interested in the evaluation and assessment ideas I've collected on this Pinterest board:


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Photo of bump it up wall with text, "How a Bump It Up Wall Can Improve Student Success."

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