Your classroom is a blank slate just waiting for you to add your creative touch. It should be a place that is conducive to learning. Your goal should be to decorate your classroom so that students will be motivated to learn instead of being overwhelmed with too much clutter
Think about any themes you will be teaching throughout the year, and how you can incorporate them into your designs. You will need to take into account what types of walls you have. This can play a big role in what you are capable of doing. Some designs may be challenging for brick or rock walls due to the difficulty of finding a way to hang objects. If the object you want to hang is fairly lightweight, look for something called Sticky Tac. Sticky Tac is a non-staining, sticky, adhesive product that is removable and reusable. It might also be a possibility to paint a mural on the wall. Be sure to check with your administrator first. As a backdrop for most of your classroom displays, there is a product called fadeless paper that you might want to invest in. It comes in an assortment of colors, and you buy it by the foot. You basically roll it out and staple it up like wall paper. Then you can add colorful borders to add interest, or to coordinate with your themes.
Designate an area where students feel comfortable working independently. It could be a corner of the room with floor pillows, a lamp, a group table, or just a small area for students to find a quiet place to work. Some cute stools would be great for a group work table. Anything that gets the students excited about learning is a wonderful investment. Remember, students don’t have to be confined to a desk to do their best work. Go with what works with your students based on the climate of your classroom.
To start with, you will want to post the rules for your classroom. Also, for elementary classrooms, any housekeeping activities can be brought into your decoration, such as weekly job charts, class schedules, and security procedures. If you are low on space, you can use cabinet doors for word walls, or to post student work or other projects using tape or Sticky Tac. You will probably need a bookshelf of some kind to store everything from teacher editions to independent student reading books. If you have a window in your room, hang a small curtain to add a sense of comfort and a touch of color. Hang photos of each of your students and display their work next to their photo. You might want to have one designated area to use as a display for holidays or themes you’re teaching that can be interchangeable. Maps are always a great addition to any classroom as decoration until you are ready to use them for a lesson.
If you have a column somewhere in the classroom, you can create a tree for your room. Cover the column with brown butcher paper, and form leaves at the top and attach them to the ceiling. You might need Sticky Tac to help attach the paper to the ceiling. Depending on the grade you teach, it could be a decoration only, or you could hang letters of the alphabet, numbers, or photos of animals from the tree leaves using fishing wire or yarn. Use a digital camera to document different classroom activities. Post pictures in your classroom or on your website.
Set a chair at the front of the room to use as an author’s chair for students to sit in while sharing stories or other projects they’ve worked on. When it’s one of your student’s birthday, you can hang a birthday decoration over their desk, or place something on their desk for the day. Another tried and true addition to any classroom is centers. You can create a center for all subject areas. This will use up a lot of space in your classroom, but it helps you decorate while using your curriculum to do it. Make sure you change out the activities in the different centers to keep things interesting. Centers can be used in a rotation or as an enrichment area to go after finishing class work. The ideas are endless, as long as you use your imagination.