If you love classroom decorations, you are in the right place! Creating an inviting space for you and your students can be so rewarding and classroom setup and design don’t have to be hard or expensive. With a little effort, students feel welcomed and look forward to entering the room each morning. Plus you can show off your creativity! No matter what decor theme you choose, these ideas will help you transform your classroom into an inviting home away from home. This post is jam-packed with ideas for classroom decor and setup.
Define Your Learning Spaces
First, identify the basic uses of each space in your classroom. Sketch your ideas out with a pencil and paper or on your computer first to meet your teaching needs and traffic patterns for your students. Then, arrange all of the large furniture to define your areas. Here are some things to consider.
Where will you teach small groups? I currently have 4 desks arranged in a horseshoe for small group, but kidney bean shaped tables work well too! I leave an open area in front of the whiteboard for whole group teaching.
Will you have a reading nook? Usually, corners work well for reading nooks, but you can also use large furniture like file cabinets or short bookshelves to divide a small space.
Do you have desks or tables for students? I’ve always had desks and arranged them in small groups of 4. Then I use velcro strips to fasten the desk legs together so they don’t scoot apart so easily.
Do you have electric outlets or hard wired internet connections near your teacher desk? Do you need a computer station? Or a place for a charging cart?
Stick with a Color Scheme
Choosing specific colors for your classroom can really help the theme come together and look thought out. Use a neutral color and a few fun, trendy colors or use the entire rainbow! Your color scheme can go with your classroom theme, or you can just choose to decorate your classroom with certain colors. My advice is to choose something timeless so you do not feel like you have to redo your classroom in just a few years. Consider the colors in your classroom that you cannot change, like the carpet or tiles and built in cabinets. You want to work with those colors instead of against them.
Research shows that color has an impact on our moods. The colors red, orange and yellow encourage positive attitudes and creativity. The colors blue, green and purple promote calm and peaceful feelings. After choosing your colors and theme, the rest of your classroom will come together much easier!
Don’t Over Do It with Nonfunctional Decor
Keeping your decor simple ensures that the important things stand out. A busy space can be overwhelming and just isn’t good for learning. Pick a few fun pieces or posters that match your color scheme or classroom theme and leave it at that. Avoid having too much useless decor that doesn’t serve a purpose. Classrooms are definitely a place where less is more! Incorporate your theme or classroom colors with useful items you need like supply labels, calendar, and schedule display.
Declutter your classroom, and get rid of furniture you don’t need or use. Your school likely has a system for unused tables, shelves and desks. Your space will feel larger and will flow more easily without them!
Spray Paint, Fabric and Tissue Paper are Your Friend
Using your imagination and a little elbow grease, these tools can help transform any space into a cohesive masterpiece! My district let me spray paint my file cabinets to match my decor colors. I also spray-painted my white Sterilite drawer units and teacher toolbox cabinet at home. You can use wrapping paper to cover the front of your desk or the front of your file cabinet drawers. The dollar store has tissue paper pom poms, tassel garland and fans. You can use these in the corners of your bulletin boards or hang them in the corners of your room to add a pop of color. I purchased matching fabric from a craft store to use as table clothes or to cover bulletin boards.
Bulletin Board Hacks
Bulletin boards are the main places to show off your classroom decor. This is where your creativity can really shine. Use your neutral color for the background. This helps the content of your bulletin board stand out.
If you’re like me, you don’t want to change your bulletin board every month. Fabric is a little more expensive but does not fade as fast as paper. This helps your bulletin board look great for years to come! It’s also way easier to hang. To me, the added expense is worth it in the long run.
Use ribbon or cut fabric into strips, scrunch and hot glue or staple to the outside of your bulletin board space for a ruffled, 3-D look. I like to pair this with a traditional bulletin board border. You can also layer traditional borders!
Add Some Plants: Real or Not
I’m so excited about the new trend of adding real plants to classrooms! Plants create that peaceful and calm atmosphere that helps the space feel cozy and more like home. Plus, they go with any classroom theme! Real plants also have amazing air purifying qualities which is great for all the germs floating around! You can even have your students take care of the plant as a job rotation.
The perfect plants for classrooms are easy to care for and can withstand a lot of “love.” These plants require low maintenance and perfect for any classroom. Aloe, Snake Plant, Chinese Evergreens, Pothos, Philodendron, Spider Plants, Air Plants and Peace Lillies.
I don’t have any windows in my classroom, (plus I’m not a good plant mom) so I use fake plants and silk flowers in my room.
Add Some Lights
One of my favorite ideas for classroom decor is to hang some lights around your whiteboard, bulletin board, or drape over your reading nook or any corner of your classroom that needs some extra attention. Students will love the added sparkle and magic. Right after Christmas is a great time to purchase string lights on clearance. I have also found some good deals on those outdoor Edison bulb string lights in the fall.
I once had the coolest floor lamp in my classroom that I found at a garage sale. I didn’t like the shade, so I replaced it with a cheap plastic trash can that matched my cactus theme! I just cut a hole in the bottom. It was amazing.
I hope these ideas for classroom decorations and setup help you create a learning space you love walking into each and every day! Watch for more blog posts about classroom decor and classroom organization in the future!