Six Ideas to Decorate a Classroom

I still remember the absolute joy of decorating my first classroom - that clean slate, anything-is-possible kind of feeling. I spent my uni days picturing my future classroom and dreaming of decor ideas. (Absolute college wild child, over here).

Ten years on, my idealism is mixed with practicality. I’ve learned what matters, what doesn’t and how classroom decor can create opportunities to learn and a sense of belonging. 

The funny thing is - it’s still just as exciting to me. Much like buying mini-toiletries is forever my favourite part of travel, decorating a classroom always makes me feel excited. And seeing you guys create inviting classrooms with my resources? Please. All my raging uni dreams have come true!

So today I’m sharing six ideas for decorating a classroom. Keep reading if you’re hardcore.

Keep scrollin’ for six ideas to decorate a classroom!

 


1. Less is More- Avoid Overwhelm

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of matchy-matchy. I choose a classroom theme and stick to it throughout a year of teaching. Whether it’s boho rainbow or botanical, I continue the theme through all of my school classroom decorations. 

That’s not to say you can't mix and match - plenty of teachers successfully blend a combination of my boho vibes and boho rainbow themes, for instance. I’m just more inclined to stick to a less-is-more, minimalist approach in order to not overwhelm students - or myself.

A small plastic shelving unit contains 12 small draws, each with a botanic themed label. The draws contain items like rubbers, clips, safety pins and hair ties. In the background, there is a calendar, with a leaf design behind each number. In the foreground, we see a document that says ‘science’ amid a leafy border.
When it comes to classroom decoration ideas, never underestimate the value of clear space!
 

 

2. Set and Forget - Apply Your Theme to Everything

I’m like the macaroni penguin of decor - when I commit to a theme, I commit. Carrying a theme throughout the school year helps reduce the mental load a little. I use the same colour palette, fonts and decor theme on everything - storage labels, slides, door displays, letters home - the lot. The continuity satisfies my soul!

 A classroom corner features a small white fabric tent, and a rug in neutral tones, with an Indigenous art print. The wall features alphabet posters from my Spotty Neutral range. There are a number of plants and a small cande bookshelf. All of the tones match, including the sandy coloured exposed brick wall.
Just adore the classroom decoration by @teachingwithmissblechynden, and her @emmastenhouseart rug!

 

 

3. Go Deeper - Move Beyond the Aesthetic to Create a Team

One of my absolute favourite things about classroom decor is the way it creates a sense of belonging. Most classes have a collective name - like, Miss B’s Bees, or Mr Shanahan’s Stars, for example. But the best classes go even deeper. 

For example - use decor and displays to articulate your classes’ values. Display your student's jobs, work and timetables. Represent learning goals, schedules and plans in your decor - there are limitless bulletin board ideas you can employ.

Ask students to pick their favourite motivational quotes and type them onto editable posters. Have them bring photos and books from home that celebrate their inherent diversity. 

Anyone who has seen a child positively combust with pride when showing their parent their own bag hook, will know - kids love having a space for themselves, and love seeing themselves represented in their space.

An office corner shows a range of my motivational posters with phrases like ‘dream big’ and ‘you are welcome here’ and ‘kindness matters’. A string of fairly lights hangs down, and in the foreground we see some stationary in complimentary peachy tones.

Don’t you just love the way @mskellythespeducator has applied this classroom decoration idea at home? (And psst… these are FREE when you join my mailing list!)

 

 

4. Bring Your Kiddos Along for the Ride

And on a similar note - involve your students in your decorating ideas. Give them decor options to choose from, allow them to vote and literally enlist their help in decorating.

Lead a discussion about different learning styles. Ask them - do they like a quiet space? A tactile space to explore objects? Or room to move? Together, create ‘zones’ and a school classroom layout that reflects them. (Check out this post for layout ideas).

Two of the most powerful displays you can build together are a growth mindset display and an affirmation station. Guide students through what it means, and when they might need these tools. I guarantee they are a game-changer.

The image shows a small mirror surround by affirmations in the Spotty Boho range. It rests on top of a series of tubs with labels from the same range. We also see a second trolley of tubs, with different labels from the range.

Affirmation Stations are a powerful way to decorate a classroom and sew seeds of self-belief!

 

 

5. Co-design Your Classroom Management 

On another similar note (I need a new segue!), when you employ a classroom management system, ask your students to help ‘design’ it.

For example, start by leading a discussion where the class decides what voice levels are appropriate throughout the day. After the discussion, create your display. By co-designing the system, your students will understand it better, and heck, they may even adhere to it every now and then!

Same goes for a 'hand signals’ system. Allow children to choose which hand signal corresponds with which request. It’ll help them feel a sense of control and a commitment to the team to uphold the system.

A white wall and whiteboard contains a number of displays including some small circular illustrations with hand signals that represent requests for the toilet, a tissue, water, pencils and more.

The best classroom decoration ideas? They’re functional, created with students and gorgeous!

 

 

6. Balance Form and Function

Scrolling through socials, you’d think perfectly coordinated, tidy classes are the norm. But they’re not! Nor should they be! While I’m not into ‘shoulding’ on you, there is one ‘should’ I live by.

Your classroom ‘should’ work for you. It should reflect you and function in the way YOU need it to.

While the debate rages on about whether teachers should have their own desks (I plead the fifth), all teachers deserve organisational systems that serve them. Whether it’s a teachers’ toolbox, organised binders, assessment trackers or a huge filing cabinet - you do you!

I love a beautiful classroom. But a beautiful classroom that balances form and function?

Please.

Be still my 20-something heart.

 

Like always, I’m just a DM away if you’ve got any questions!

 

 

 

Miss Jacobs Little Learners Ideas to Decorate a Classroom

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