When you decorate your classroom on a budget, it is important to keep your students in mind. Heavy decorations can cause distractions, while decorations that are not eye-catching enough will not provide the necessary visual stimulation. Here are ten tips to help you get it right when decorating your classroom.
1. Display Student Work
Show your students that you are proud of them and the things that they work on. Displaying their work around the classroom gives them a healthy sense of responsibility, motivates them, and helps them remember the material.
2. Avoid Visual Clutter
Avoid bombarding students with visual information as this can interrupt their learning and memory. Ensure that at least 20% of the wall space is clear and spaced out to avoid a cluttered look. Instead of adding decorations and cramping up the surfaces, consider swapping decorations instead.
3. Create Safe Areas
All students are different, and so are their learning processes. While some learn better at a desk, others focus better in an open space. Try to make your classroom conducive for your students by meeting their needs. You can create a setup that encourages various learning styles. This can include designating a positive affirmation corner, designing an alternative seating area, and even arranging desks in a fun way.
4. Include Inspiring Figures
It will do your students a lot of good if they see their role models and heroes around the classroom. You can put up images of heroes and leaders to inspire students. Strive for inclusion and avoid token or stereotypical representations.
5. Use Color
Colours have significant effects on the minds and moods of your students. Use colours that are uplifting and pleasing to the eye. Intuitively-coloured walls can play a part in improving students’ learning and focus. Change the colours depending on the season and events. E.g. for Christmas decorations, choose more green and some red.
Consider colour psychology; colours can affect the student’s moods and learning progress.
6. Avoid Scores/Grades
While data walls were once considered a source of motivation, they tend to do more harm than good. While grades may prove motivational or encouraging for good performers, they could prove otherwise for struggling students.
7. Use Visual Aids
Visual aids are an educator’s best friend! Anchor charts, maps, and diagrams are great visual aids that can help boost interest, improve memory and identification, and stimulate inquiry.
8. Incorporate the 5 Senses
The best kind of learning involves more than one of the five senses. Tap into your students’ boosted learning processes with decorations, sounds, and smells related to the material. You can include touch and texture by choosing items like rugs and pillows.
9. Switch Things Up
It is easy to forget that classroom decorations need to be changed. There are various things to be celebrated throughout the year, so your classroom decorations should keep up with the times. Also, ensure to swap decorations no longer relevant to the material and replace them with relevant ones.
10. Give Your Furniture a Makeover
While the walls and other surfaces get decorated, do not neglect the chairs and desks. Give those an exciting makeover by using some contact paper, fun dry-erase polka dots, and even some wallpaper. There is a lot of fun to be had when decorating your classroom.