Decorating a classroom can sometimes be difficult, but if you follow these simple guidelines you will have a highly inviting classroom that is also great for students!
Pinterest is Not Always the Answer
“Pinterest Perfect” classrooms are not always the most developmentally appropriate for children. Your classroom doesn’t need to look like it was out of a magazine for students to love and grow inside of it. Sometimes going to Pinterest first can overwhelm us as teachers and not always bring out the best ideas.
My suggestion? Make a plan first, then go to Pinterest and get ideas to add to your plan. But let your creativity and teacher brain shine first!
Make a Plan for Decorating your Classroom
When you go into your empty classroom and grab a blank piece of paper. Sit in the middle of the room and draw it out. Sometimes it takes several pieces of paper until you find the right layout. Make a list of bulletin boards that are must-haves for you and any items you’d like to purchase or get donated.
Then, head to the internet and add to your classroom where you see that you can.
After making your plan, take a week or two before doing anything else. After your week or so is over, go over your plan to make any changes that you have. Then, get started.
Ask for Help with Decorating a Classroom
Decorating a classroom by yourself is RIDICULOUS! Yup, I said it! Get help! Ask your mom, coworker, friend, parent of a student, or anyone. Just ask for help. Do not by any circumstances do your classroom completely alone. It is more fun with help, it gets done faster, and in the end, it will look better!
Use What You Have
Before going out and buying anything, take everything that you have and spread it out all over the desks. Use it first, then go get something new if you need it. I have seen lots of retired teachers’ rooms and guess what? There are so many decor items left behind. I think it is because we teachers like to go buy new, but here is my permission slip to just use what you have creatively!
Keep a Checklist
On a sheet of paper create a checklist titled decorating my classroom.
Fold your paper into fours. Then, title one bulletin boards, one to purchase, one to create (print/laminate), and one all extras.
Then, keep a running list of things you need to do. This way, when you go into the room you have the list ready to go and you can just get started.
Leave Empty Space in a Classroom
Do not fill every single wall space. Leave places empty. Leave plenty of space for children to add their work. Want it to look nice? You can add these free amazing work signs!
Also, leave a few blank spaces for students to just look at. Blank space is good for students who get overwhelmed in busy environments. It is important to not put too much on the walls and fill the room with too many items.
Allow Students to Shine
Give students a say in some of the classroom so they can make it feel like their own. Here are some ideas on how to do that…
- Leave areas free for their work to be shown
- Leave a bulletin board empty and allow them to choose what they want on the board
- Let them arrange the desks or different furniture
- Take a picture of them on the first day of school and make a “Future Leaders” board. I have them hold up a sign with what they want to be when they grow up. This is also great to see their growth at the end of the year!