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Classroom Decor and Much More

Classroom decor is much more than just beautiful bulletin boards we put on the four walls that surround our classroom. Classroom decor can create an inviting atmosphere that can be a foundation of a welcoming environment. Paired with a loving, dedicated teacher and useful educational resources, all can produce the perfect classroom that we all desire every year.

Creating a welcoming environment for your students is essential. It's the first thing they will see when they walk in that door the first day. The design and layout of your classroom will ensure a fun and creative year ahead. Parents will notice your dedication through time spent on creating such a positive and creative classroom.

10 years of teaching in 5 different schools and 3 different states means that I have done my fair share of moving and setting up classrooms. In my 10 years I have done 7 different classroom themes including circus, camping, jungle, beach, cowboy, monsters and construction. Each theme was done differently and has gotten better each time. Teachers ask me often why I change my theme every few years? My answer is always, "I love changing and growing in my classroom." Each year I get a new group of students and it's my promise as their teacher to deliver the best education for their little minds. This allows me to try new things and grow as a teacher each and every year. Changing my classroom around and switching decor is one of the things I can change every few years to make my teaching ever changing.

I have come up with five easy steps for creating a welcoming environment that you can use this upcoming year in your classroom.

Choosing a color or theme is the first step in transitioning your classroom into a creative learning environment. Make a list of your favorite colors and themes. Think about what would look great in your classroom space. Do your have a classroom that is dark without windows? You might want to brighten your classroom with colors that will open up the space. Think about what colors compliment each other and then choose your favorite. Don't forget to include your students age when deciding on a theme or colors. If you teach upper elementary you will want to make sure you don't have a theme that is too primary for your students. 

Trends will come and go but remember you don't have to have a classroom theme forever. Choose what you love now and know that in a few years you can change it and make it better!

Classroom decor can become quite costly but I'm here to tell you that you can decorate and create an amazing learning environment with a reasonable budget. A little goes a long ways! Use what you have. Visit your local consignment stores or even a local garage sale! You will be amazed at what you can find for a fraction of the cost of buying from some of the educational stores.

If you do purchase from educational stores, don't forget to shop during their back to school sales. Mention you are a teacher and get your discount from Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Joann's. My motto is NEVER buy anything that is full price! 

Once you have decided on a theme or color scheme for your classroom its time to brainstorm and make a list of all the things you want to include. This list is messy and doesn't have to be perfect. The very first thing I do is start listing everything that comes to mind when I think of that theme. For example, when I was brainstorming for my new construction theme, I listed street signs, tools, hard hats, caution tape, etc. My list included over 50 things that I wanted to incorporate into my classroom some how. These things will help you come up with bulletin boards, decorations and great sayings for your classroom. On this list also include bulletin board sayings. For my construction sayings I included, "Caution- Hard Hats Required" and "Minds Under Construction" and many more. Write these down! They will become sayings you can use everywhere!

This step sounds silly but it really is essential. I draw a map of my classroom and then start marking where each bulletin board is located. This allows me to see the whole picture and then start placing borders and sayings for each board. It's important when laying out your decor that you don't put butcher paper or fabric that look terrible together. This also includes borders as well. I've tried to keep the same color paper or fabric on all boards in my classroom to make the boards match and look great together. My monster theme classroom had black backgrounds but different color borders that were all coordinating.

My final piece of advice for redesigning your classroom this year is to recruit those family members and friends to help you! Anyone can put up butcher paper! You will need all the help you can get this year when you are decorating! Even the smallest of helpers can do things for you as you prepare for back to school! Order some pizza and get everyone working hard to make your classroom the most creative learning environment ever!

Don't be afraid of making a creative and beautiful learning space for your students. You deserve a bright and cheerful place to go to work each day and the students will learn better with an organized and creative environment to learn and grow in this year!


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