Monday, September 8, 2014

When Form meets Function: Classroom Decor

Decorating a classroom isn't just about decoration it is an opportunity to create an environment for students where form meets function and helps define the culture of your classroom.

When I think back to the teachers who were the most influential to me, it is always the teachers who had the most passion for their subject. I still remember Mr. Lindquist reading Shakespeare, face glowing, gesturing with his arms and voice ringing through the room. He was kind of a geek, really, but we all loved him. He made us want to learn Shakespeare, it couldn't be that bad if he was so excited about it, right? I remember posters of Shakespeare and inspirational quotes posted throughout his classroom.

What better way to communicate to your students your thoughts, your beliefs, your expectations, your passion than with posters and pictures of things that are important to you?As an Art teacher, it's easy to decorate my classroom with student artwork, but classroom decor should reach past just decoration and actually create a space where students can feel at home and ready to create. As an English Teacher books will be a key component to their classroom. There is a Math teacher in our school who has large dry erase boards hanging from every wall in his room. It is the perfect example of form meets function.

Classroom decor works best when it also facilitates learning, regardless of what subject or grade you teach. Here are some photos of my classroom. I will post some of Math, Science and ELA later today, I also encourage you to share photos of your classroom.

I teach Art and set up carts for each of the classes I teach. Because I have a different class every period this is essential to keeping myself organized and it helps the students know where to go to get the materials they need to do their work.

Because I teach so many subjects and assignments are large I have green bins that I label with each period for students to turn in their work. This helps me stay organized and students cannot say they turned something in when they didn't. I also have supplies that we use in all classes on this cart.

This is new for my classroom. I set up an area where students can go to grab an object to draw or paint. I included shells, buttons, bones and wooden blocks. I'm going to add sticks and stones and other stuff as the semester progresses. There are also magazines for collage work.

Over the computer area I found posters on Michael's and some cheap frames and hung them on the wall. I like painting that aren't too tight so students realize they don't have to paint as if its a photograph.

To get you started I just designed some posters with the secondary teacher in mind. The posters below are free and will work in your classroom regardless of the subject you teach:

Click on the photos below to download them!

I hope your new school year is off to a great start! Have fun decorating your classrooms! If you have photos or ideas please share them below!



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