For teachers, walking into a classroom before a new year begins is like facing a blank slate of endless decorating possibilities. Imagine having the classroom everyone is jealous of. Students who aren’t even yours peek in to check it out. Fellow teachers ooh and ahh over your design and creativity. Parents wander through in amazement at Back-to-School Night.
Get out your notebook: It’s back-to-school time, and you’ve just stepped into Classroom Decorations 101!
Keep it fresh and fun
Teachers and students will spend hundreds of hours surrounded by those four walls, so the classroom decorations should make a brightly-colored, cheerful environment that encourages creativity, and just feels good to be in.
Whether you teach 5-year-olds or 15-year-olds, their learning environments affect them deeply. Whether they admit it or not, students of all ages appreciate and benefit from surroundings that are upbeat, warm and welcoming.
As you plan your walls and bulletin boards, think about the ambiance you would like to create. Will you have a theme running throughout the room? Will you have bright colors everywhere or just one main color with accents there and there?
Students, when not focused on what you’re teaching, tend to look around at the walls. Will you display positive sayings that reinforce your lessons? Those walls can serve as subtle but effective learning opportunities day after day. The multitude of anchor charts you probably make will serve as references as students are working and need a little reminder or help answering a question.
A display of pride
Saving some room to display student work is important, too. When students see their projects displayed, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment — like when a parent hangs a child’s artwork on the refrigerator.
Classrooms also can foster community. Involve students in the decorating and design. Give them spaces where they can decorate, post their own inspirational quotes, ask questions, and seek answers. Ask them what they want. And, keep it current! If you put up a wonderful display at the beginning of the year that doesn’t change for the next nine months, it will lose its impact fairly quickly.
Budget-friendly ways to decorate a classroom
Thankfully, creating an award winning classroom doesn’t have to completely blow your budget. Below are some decorating ideas we found to be particularly creative and just plain cool, but still easy on your budget.
You could go online or to the school supply store and spend hundreds on borders for your walls and bulletin boards — or, you can check out some of these DIY options, brilliantly created by Mrs. King Rocks, that use supplies you might already have lying around your house.
At Fusion Yearbooks, you’ll find dozens of ways to repurpose old containers for new, fun and inexpensive decorating ideas, classroom management and lesson inspiration.