I Need Help Decorating My Classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DecoratingHelp, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 14, 2019

    I need help decorating my kindergarten classroom. I have spent so much time and money the past couple years on trying to organize and decorate my classroom, but it just looks "ok" and even messy at times. I want it to look beautiful, eye-catching, kid-friendly, etc. To make matters worse, the principal is very into appearance and the way the classroom looks. There are a few teachers who are very talented in classroom decoration at my school, and I feel like my classroom is definitely inferior.

    I need to know what to buy, where to put it, how to set it up, etc.

    Specific needs:
    -How to make the bulletin boards "pop"
    -How to make the library area look great and organized, while allowing the kids to actually use it (have about 100 books) and want it to be a fun, comfortable sanctuary for the kids
    -What to hang up and what not to (how to make a word wall - do I put it on a bulletin board - there are so many words).
    -What to do about the chalkboard - it's not magnetic so I just tape stuff to it - Can I paint it to make it magnetic - any advice / tips on this?
    -How to make a science / classroom pet area
    -How to make a beautiful writing center, listening center, art center

    I'm really looking for a magazine worthy classroom look. If you're able to help, please reply or private message me. You won't be able to visit my classroom, but I can show pictures, talk on the phone, email, whatever it takes.
     
  2.  
  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,472
    Likes Received:
    982

    Jul 14, 2019

    Pinterest.

    I get a lot of ideas from there. I teach secondary, so I don’t know if I’d be helpful with kindergarten.

    I do know that magnetic paint is a PITA. You have to use at least five coats, and you have to stir it constantly to keep the metal fragments from settling to the bottom. I ended up using liquid nails to hang a sheet of metal over it.
     
    redtravel likes this.
  4. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    422

    Jul 14, 2019

    Pinterest is your best friend!
     
    DecoratingHelp and redtravel like this.
  5. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 14, 2019

    Good to know about the magnetic paint. And thanks, Pinterest has cute ideas, but I need help with what to pick and how to make stuff. I am willing to pay if anyone can walk me through what to do with various areas in the classroom and take a look at pictures of my classroom to see what would work best.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,486
    Likes Received:
    1,468

    Jul 14, 2019

    Can you get some advice from the talented teachers who are at your school? It’s really not something that is easy to help with over the internet. You can get ideas, sure, but if you are asking for more help than Pinterest can provide, you really need someone who can be there with you in person.
     
    redtravel likes this.
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,472
    Likes Received:
    982

    Jul 14, 2019

    That’s going to be m retirement job: decorating and organizing classrooms.

    However, I’ve got a few more years left before I retire.
     
    Backroads and redtravel like this.
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,102

    Jul 15, 2019

    Specific needs:
    -How to make the bulletin boards "pop"- back student work with colorful paper, make a title for bb using a computer program (ex: Print Shop), put photos of the kids engaged in the work process
    -How to make the library area look great and organized, while allowing the kids to actually use it (have about 100 books) and want it to be a fun, comfortable sanctuary for the kids- 100 books isn’t a lot, I’d suggest you get more, lots more. Shop library book sales and thrift shops. Colorful baskets to organize books by genre or level. Carpet for mini lessons. Fun seating: bean bag chairs, etc
    -What to hang up and what not to (how to make a word wall - do I put it on a bulletin board - there are so many words). I don’t use a word wall- grade 3. Maybe put in space above bb/chalkboard
    -How to make a science / classroom pet area- could be as simple as a table with the pet habitat on, books about that animal. Shelves with exploration baskets: shells, rocks....change up monthly


    I'm really looking for a magazine worthy classroom look- you are putting too much pressure on yourself.
     
    Tired Teacher and bella84 like this.
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,176

    Jul 15, 2019

    To make bulletin boards pop, I used to do the following: every board was the same color (meaning, I used the same fadeless paper color for a background on every single bulletin board). Then, I used layered bulletin board border (look up layered border on Pinterest). I'm a very matchy-matchy type of person, so everything has to coordinate.

    For example, you can use grey bulletin board paper with yellow and white border around the boards.
     
    czacza likes this.
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,839
    Likes Received:
    1,449

    Jul 15, 2019

    The best, simplest tip I have is to choose a color scheme. It will make everything look like it matches. Choose two or three colors that look good together: green & blue; yellow & pink; white, yellow & grey... Just pick something you like and keep it simple. Then try to have as much as possible in those colors.

    For your class library, buy some bins at Dollar Tree that match that color scheme. Use those same colors as background sheets when you are hanging things in a writing or science corner. For your bulletin board, buy precut letters and borders from Dollar Tree or a teacher supply store in, again, the same colors.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,472
    Likes Received:
    982

    Jul 15, 2019

    I agree with choosing color over theme.

    I had a yellow and blue classroom, then changed it up with primary striped fabric.

    Moved classrooms and went with red and black, which I’m changing this year to primary dots. Still using lots of black.

    I’ve gotten through 20+ years with three color schemes that change up easily.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    otterpop and bella84 like this.
  12. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    67

    Jul 16, 2019

    No advice on decorating because I'm high school special needs so the less stimuli the better, but you may want to look into Pets in the Classroom through, a grant program that provides funds for classroom pets.
     
    DecoratingHelp and otterpop like this.
  13. talknteach

    talknteach Rookie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    20

    Jul 18, 2019

    Two words: Schoolgirl Style. Check out her website, and you can order from her, or Lakeshore now carries some of her items.
     
    DecoratingHelp likes this.
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,482
    Likes Received:
    96

    Jul 21, 2019

    I'd suggest focusing on color coordination (not themes as others have mentioned) and organizing stuff rather than decorations. It is possible to have an overly decorated room, and studies have shown that kids in rooms with tons of posters/decorations/charts get overly stimulated and can't concentrate as well. You want your babies to learn! Make your bbs flexible enough that you can change them as needed while still being functional. Some of that Pinterest stuff looks great, but it serves no educational purpose and takes a lot of time to create. Do what works for you.
     
  15. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    28

    Jul 24, 2019

    WOW! I've only ever heard "you get no brownie points for having a Pinterest looking classroom" mine have always focused on the relationships and teaching over a "cute" room with no substance.

    Your principal should be giving you all a $500 decorating stipend if they want it decked down. Look on Instagram. Dollar Tree has SO much color stuff for cheap.

    Pinterest and Instagram. I'm sure your room is enough.
     
    DecoratingHelp, Backroads and bella84 like this.
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,386
    Likes Received:
    1,034

    Jul 25, 2019

    I decorate my classroom with student work. I have an area for reading, math and science. I don't have room for a SS area but I could maybe move some stuff around. I go to the Dollar Tree now and then but never spend more than $5 at a time.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,802
    Likes Received:
    2,432

    Jul 25, 2019

    Instead of using fadeless paper on BB, I use sheets. The colors stay bright, they endure multiple staples and their removal, and they tend not to fade. One sheet will last an entire school year. Buy them at thrift stores or on clearance.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  18. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 27, 2019

    I'm wanting to make my classroom someplace really special as I spend so much time there. I don't have the Pinterest skills others have and have spent way too many evenings look at magazine perfect classrooms. If I have a theme, I guess it is nature. I like the fadeless cloud and water bulletin board paper you can by and it really livens up the drab portable classroom with its brown walls. I've added Ikea leaves that hang like awnings and I have a paper tree on the walls that is getting rattier by the year that we change the leaves on to match the seasons. I'm making frames to slide student artwork in. It's easy to find stuff on the cheap. My hope- and not yet my reality- is to build a reading corner around a tree. Color schemes help a ton. I'm doing green with blue and some brown. I teach special education and my goal is to create a very peaceful and welcoming environment.
     
    bella84 and vickilyn like this.
  19. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    Oh I can relate - have spent a ton of time looking at Pinterest and other websites at classrooms but I don't have the artistic skills or handiman skills either. The tree idea sounds cool. I need something eye-catching like that for my library area and science area. It needs to be something easy though. I used the cloud bulletin board paper a couple years ago and thought it was pretty, but I switched to a solid blue color last year and kept it up for this upcoming year. I want to buy frames to slide student artwork in for this year because I want one or two of the bulletin boards to have student work displayed, and I don't want to keep taking staples out of the bulletin board paper. I want it to be easy - have a wow border and saying and then slide the work in and out. Maybe the work and border and saying can change each season - summer, spring, winter, fall but hopefully no more than that.
     
  20. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    Do you mean fabric?
     
  21. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    What grade do you teach? I want to do that using clear pockets so I don't have to keep taking staples out. Can you show pictures?
     
  22. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    The problem is the school gave me red, yellow, light green, and light blue chairs. The edges of the tables are these colors as well. Shelves are painted dark green and furniture is light brown wood. To make matters worse, last year I bought blue, pink, and white baskets to store materials in. I now have navy blue bulletin board paper I don't want to take down because it was a bear getting it up there. Any thoughts on this?
     
  23. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    What would color would look good on navy / deep blue bulletin board paper?
     
  24. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    All my bulletin boards are navy blue. What color lettering would look good on them?
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,386
    Likes Received:
    1,034

    Jul 31, 2019

    I would do a lighter color like yellow or gold.
     
  26. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    - I like the idea of students engaged in the work process. Maybe one bulletin board with rules listed and pictures of students following each of those rules? Raise hand, sitting criss-cross, etc. The color of the bulletin boards are navy blue. What color lettering looks good with that?
    -I meant 100 as in a lot of books. I have sight word books in four baskets (probably a couple hundred of those) I put out on tables. In the library, I have picture books and some longer ones both fiction and nonfiction - probably 300+. It's a crazy amount of books. I'm trying to organize by genre or author. I have a different color dot for each topic that will go on each book. I'll have a list of topics with their dots hung up and books will be piled up on the shelves that way. For example: Dr. Seuss books - red dot, Berenstein Bears books - blue dot, princess books - pink dot, Christmas books - green dot, etc. I want a really cute comfortable library. Right now, there is a Dr. Seuss themed bulletin board behind it that I did last year. I have two white chairs but need fun pillows or something to make it more inviting and comfortable. Or I need to change the theme completely like turn it into a beach.
    - I like the idea of changing the exploration baskets monthly. What else besides shells and rocks?
     
  27. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    Ok, I am trying to make my bulletin boards pop, look fun, and be useful to the kids. This year, I had Math and Reading Unit information up there I got from teacherspayteachers like the chapter / unit name, vocabulary, skills we were working on, etc. It was a pain because I had to change it frequently - like every couple weeks and it looked too serious because it was mostly just typed words. It was sort of helpful to me as far as keeping on track but the kids got little out of it I'm sure. This year, I'd like to do student work in sleeves I can put in and take out, have a catchy saying, some cute large craft, and maybe an unusual border that isn't paper. I'm just not very artistic or handy is the problem. So I have to be able to do it without it falling down or apart.
     
  28. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,839
    Likes Received:
    1,449

    Jul 31, 2019

    I'd do white or maybe a bright green or yellow.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  29. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

    What do you think of Behr chalk paint? Or Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint?
     
  30. DecoratingHelp

    DecoratingHelp Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2019

     
  31. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,839
    Likes Received:
    1,449
  32. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    879
    Likes Received:
    209

    Jul 31, 2019

    Why don't you ask a friend who is art/decoration inclined?
    I'd put the pink baskets out of sight. Keep repeating the colors of your furniture in the baskets. You can use a lime green and white polka dot border or a white and also a green border with your navy background. Then use white or lime green lettering on the board. Use rectangles of either white or lime green as place holders for future student work. Try buying a few ready made pictures/bulletin board sets to help you along. You can repeat the same motif throughout the room to help give it continuity. I hope this helps you.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 334 (members: 1, guests: 317, robots: 16)
test