Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Tips for Decorating a Classroom

Alright ladies,  since next week is my wedding weekend then it is off to our honeymoon I am going to try to do a few post before I leave!

I have been getting LOTS of emails about setting up my classroom. As you guys know I am still keeping faith that the right position will be coming my way. However, in the mean time I can live through you all and be jealous that y'all are decorating your classrooms! Ahh

Let me start by saying I am no expert. However, I am my father's child (who works in the furniture business) and he has an amazing talent for decorating. So putting together my room is just something that was fun for me :)

I tried to come up with a quick list of some helpful tips when you start off:
1. Choose 2- 3 colors: Whether you choose a theme (I did a Rock star theme) or not, it is important to be consistent with your color scheme. Last year I chose hot pink, lime green, and turquoise. Then I added zebra (black/white) to jazz it up. My inspiration came from one of my borders. I tried to incorporate the colors from the print on the border into my room! 

2. Keep your walls the same colors! If you choose to do each wall in a different print or color it will look  mismatched and not cohesive. So, for example if you are doing your room all blue and yellows, then stick to doing all of your walls the same. Or in my case I did the same lime green on four walls, two turquoise, and 2 hot pink. Also, the entire front wall of my room was an electric purple. This is not what I had planned when I first started but it turned out to match with my theme and style.

3. Patterns on the wall are HARD to decorate with. Try to keep it simple by keeping the patterns to the borders, and the solids for the wall space.
(This is an example of one of my first classrooms where I used a polka dot crazy pattern background? Am I right! Too much!) 

4. BORDER- This was my biggest learning experince… keep it all the same. Buy a few that match your theme and colors and just use those all over the room. AND, double up! Layer borders on top of each other, it gives a more dramatic effect. 
(Above is my box of border I bought last year, I stuck to four different prints that I used on every wall)

( Here is an example of my classroom lasted year with doubled border of green polka dots and zebra)

5. Now that you have chosen your color scheme and border, the first thing I suggest is sitting down and mapping out your room. I used post-it notes and a large piece of paper so I could envision what it would look like. Move the post-its around on the paper until you find what works for your room. This will save you the time of pushing furniture or taking down paper/ border that did not work. 

6. Once you map it out and put up your borders and paper… now it's on to the finishing touches and arranging the furniture. I always tried to make sure my room "flowed" and had an inviting feeling to the class. If you have too much furniture in your classroom, KICK IT OUT! The janitors may not love you for it, but you won't regret it! Sometimes us teachers like to hold on to our furniture because we had to fight to get it! Ha. But if it's not working, then let it go and have a home in someone else's classroom who may actually have a use for it. Plus, what comes around goes around, furniture will come and go! 

But, most of all remember to get yourself a good glue gun… it seems to solve all my problems when  decorating a classroom! :)

Best of luck decorating! 
Please send me your pictures, I would love to feature you lovely teachers on my blog for your adorable rooms! 

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  1. Great tips, thanks for sharing.

  2. Super post! I am going to try a couple of borders that are layered this year!

  3. Do you have paper all around your bulletin board? In the picture with the clip chart it looks like your board is covered, but you also covered your wall.

    1. Yeah I covered the ENTIRE wall behind my white board. I loved the look of it. Then I put border up on the white board.

    2. What did you use to cover the wall and how did you attach it to the wall?? I don't have any boards in my room and haven't figured out how to use just the wall to look like boards yet... Thanks for the help!

    3. Thanks so much! As a first-year (1st grade) teacher, I am TOTALLY excited to teach but a bit overwhelmed by the decorating-of-the-room part. I picked an animals theme and am considering a different biome/animal mix for each part of my room, but the thought of safari and ocean in the same room seems too much...Thoughts??

  4. These are valuable tips! I just realized the importance of keeping borders the unified this summer...after 4 years of teaching!

    Peacocks and Penguins - 4th Grade

  5. These are great tips! I've never thought about the double borders being layered. I'm definitely trying that this year! Good luck with all of the wedding planning!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  6. Such a great room! I know you'll find another one soon! Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  7. Thanks for the tips...I like the idea of the double border...I've seen a lot of that lately!

    I've left you an award on my blog...please come check it out! :)

    Adventures in Second Grade

  8. You are SO right about getting rid of extra furniture (& teachers' need to KEEP everything! "You'll never get it back!"). I have been getting rid of furniture every year....You wouldn't believe all the stuff I had in my room that first year!
    Thanks for the tips!
    Primary Inspired

  9. Where did you purchase your adorable borders? I adore the polka dot printed ones!

  10. You are so right about the solid color backgrounds. I use black fabric on mine and it stays up all year for multiple years. I can change the trim if I want, but I usually like to laminate it so it will last a year or two. Then I can focus on the material I am displaying and change that as needed.

    Grade School Giggles

  11. I love the solid colors with printed borders too. I only have 2 bullitan boards this year so that keeps it easy. I just found your blog and am your newest follower:)

    The Resourceful Apple

  12. Love the pics! Looking forward to you uploading the signs you used in your classroom. I've been struggling to find work station signs that are Debbie Diller, and I REFUSE to print ones that say "centers" on them! A true Diller follower like you!

    Have a great wedding weekend!

  13. Thanks for the great tips! I love how you double up the borders!
    Come check out my new blog Teaching in Valley

  14. Thank you for this amazing post!!
    ☼ Kate
    To The Square Inch

  15. I have nominated you for an award! Stop by my blog to pick it up!
    Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

  16. I just started my new blog called Kindergarten Milestones and I love all your ideas. I am a new followerer of your blog and I love all your decorating ideas. I can't wait to start decorating my classroom now thanks to you! If you get a chance come visit my site. Any tips on blogging would help me so much!

  17. I love your color scheme! Where did you get your book bins? I love those colors!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  18. I'm your newest follower. Stumbled upon this via Pinterest. I'm thinking of using Abby's rockstart clip chart too. I love how you've decorated your room. It's so organised and creative. Thanks for the decorating tips - I love the experienced voice, especially that you're not afraid to show your mistakes. I think I'll have to document my mistakes as well as successes!!

    A Crucial Week

  19. I love this blog. I just starting teaching this year and I was so nervous about decorating my classroom. Luckily, I found help. I went to my local school supply store and the owners, who are also teachers,really made it easy for me. I bought everything from a-z an it was within my budget. Thank you.

  20. Cool ideas, but I have a question. If you use a glue gun on the walls, don't you ruin them when removing all the charts and decorations? The school will have to fix and paint all the classes every year, and I don't know in your country, but in mine it's a bit difficult for schools (even in private ones) to fix and repaint everything every year - it's too expensive.

  21. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  22. LOVE the idea of reading nook on countertop. Have you ever had anyone fall off bar stools? Just wondering how six year olds and stools mix. I am moving into new classroom and want to try this.

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