When a new school year rolls around, the possibilities for decorating your classroom are endless. Create a welcoming environment for the kids so they can feel comfortable with you as their teacher right from the start. With our ideas, you can turn any mundane-looking classroom into something expressive and inviting to encourage children to learn and play.
A simple way to ensure your decorating goes off without a hitch is to consider following a theme throughout the classroom to keep everything matching and a bit less chaotic. Having a theme also makes planning more manageable because you can purchase all your décor from the same store. The following themes are great options for students in a variety of age groups.
- Farm Animals
Classroom Door Art
The first part of your classroom students will see is the door, so you want to create a welcoming environment right away. If you teach a specific subject, use that as a theme to base the décor after. If you are in an elementary school and teach various subjects, consider putting an inspirational quote on a backdrop that gives kids a sneak peek into what theme you chose for your classroom.
Here is a list of a few inspirational quotes to get you started:
- The Best Place To “Bee”
- In This Class, We Stick Together
- You Are Smart, You Are Brave, You Are Strong, You Are Kind, You Are Loved
- This Classroom Is Better Because You Are in It
The quickest and easiest way to coax your students into following your classroom rules is to present them in a decorative way that is easy on the eyes. Set aside some space near the front of the classroom where the rules can be always on display. Do not write an entire book of rules; instead, try to show the most important ones the kids must follow in your classroom.
You most likely have more than one bulletin board in your class—ensure you are using up the available space they provide to transform your classroom completely. Use the boards to illustrate specific school subjects that will make learning more fun and inviting. Try your spin at a unique periodic table, mathematic equations, storytelling, history lessons, etc. Try leaving a bulletin board or two blank, so students can use them to create something special for the classroom themselves too.
Keep a large calendar on display so students can see their friend’s birthdays, holidays, days off from school, etc. Having this in your classroom will encourage students to get to know each other better and organize their days and weeks. If you teach a younger grade, you can use the calendar as a teaching element for the months, days, and years.
You cannot have a classroom without some sort of mini-library. If your classroom has a theme, think of book ideas and decorations that help to keep everything cohesive, such as books on the planets and stars hanging from the ceiling for a space-themed corner. For younger students, this is an exciting element to have in a classroom and will inspire the kids to enjoy reading more. Don’t forget to have a colorful rug and comfortable seating to give the area a welcoming feel.
Aside from their desk, students will not have much else they can call their own in the classroom. A lot of homework and paperwork will go home to the parents with announcements, report cards, flyers, etc. When students arrive back in the classroom, they can create their mailbox—this gives them the chance to display their personalities and interests to the rest of the kids. Plus, this helps to ensure the kids are receiving and taking home the important information.
If you want to establish trust and comfort with your students, have a supply closet filled with items a student might need throughout the day, but could be too embarrassed to ask for. Regardless of the reason, students might come unprepared one day, or their family does not have enough money for that extra notebook, or they forgot to eat breakfast that morning—whatever they need, students will feel the welcoming presence if you have a closet available with items they can subtly ask you for. A few things you can have include snacks, school supplies, feminine hygiene products, Band-Aids, etc.
Keep track of your students by having a designated area for hall passes. There are multiple ways you can go about this; one of the easiest is to have the hall passes hanging near the door that students can grab before walking out. You could leave a small whiteboard near the passes so students can write their names down—this way, you know exactly who has the pass before the student leaves.
Welcome students back with a gift to make their next school year feel more special. Pencils are a staple for school; no student can ever have enough, making this an inexpensive gift to give all your kids. Take it a step further and decorate the pencils with school-themed ribbon to make the gift much more personal.
Most of the time, children will be at their desks working on projects or homework, so ensure they have an exciting experience in your classroom by decorating their desks with name tags, streamers, and stickers. Don’t worry about going all out for this décor because eventually, throughout the year, you might change the decorations or allow the students to create their own desk space.
Decorate your classroom but try to stay on budget because it can be easy to get carried away when you start having fun with themes and ideas. Give your room a personality that cultivates an environment that encourages students to grow into their individual persons. The best part of each new school year is getting to decorate again—don’t be afraid to think creatively and try something a little different this year.