With the end of summer comes the beginning of the next exciting season in your children’s lives - back-to-school time. Whether you are a parent or an educator, you want the classroom the children attend this year to be engaging, vibrant and original.
Gone are the days of stuffy plastic globes and colorless borders. Clever slogans, colorful decor and highlighting achievements are now the best motivators in getting kids to learn. With these tips and tricks, you can take the classroom from eggshell walls to a new bright beginning.
Pick a theme. The first step in transforming a space for children is to pick one, cohesive idea to bring into every aspect of your classroom plan. Whether it’s the hot book of the summer or an old classic, an age-appropriate literary reference can go a long way. Keep it light, and make sure to incorporate the theme into more than just your boards. Games, reward systems and even disciplinary actions can all be coordinated with the same color scheme.
Display expectations clearly. Some kids may think rules are made to be broken, but every classroom needs a set of easily seen and understood guidelines to help keep the order. An oval picture frame will stand out against the rectangles that tend to dominate educational supplies and be sure to put it in the front of the room where it is unavoidable. Go over the rules on the first day, and answer any questions students may have to clear up possible confusion.
Reuse, renew and recycle. As teachers will often tell you, decorating your classroom on a budget can be a huge challenge. That’s why it’s important to use what resources are available, and don’t be afraid to get crafty. An old crate with a sewn in pillow top can be a space efficient way to add seating, and a well-placed mirror can add space to a small room. A bright rug in one corner can instantly transform the space into a separate reading area, and small bookcases can double as a bench when needed.
Highlight achievements with recognition. With parental permission, take a photo of each of the students on the first day. These prints can be used to not only get the children to know each other better but also can be rotated out to highlight star students and motivate. A gold picture frame will look very regal, and your “king or queen for a day” will appreciate you noticing their extra effort.
Change it up. It’s exhausting to decorate the room, but putting in the time to change up the look for holidays or new semesters will really rejuvenate student spirit. These kids will be spending a lot of time looking at these surroundings, and nothing renews a love of learning like a fresh new theme. It serves as a reminder that the school year is constantly going forward, and each day is a new step in furthering their education.