Looking around an empty classroom at the beginning of a new school year can be daunting…but it also presents a fantastic opportunity! Your classroom is like a second home for your students; it should be welcoming, visually-appealing and intellectually stimulating. Not sure where to begin? Here are some ideas for setting up your classroom that will have your students rushing through the door once school returns!
The Entry Door
Your students are going to walk through the door of the classroom multiple times a day; make it look wonderful! Hang a welcome sign that displays the class name in bright colors, decorated with age-appropriate images that will appeal to your students. Use the same image to display each student’s name around the welcome sign. This will help foster a sense of community and belonging amongst your students, right from the very first day.
When setting up your classroom, consider adding some colorful, educational desk plates to your students’ desks. Desk plates and desk mats can be used for a range of purposes, which will vary according to the age and educational needs of your students. Student names, number lines and the alphabet may be more beneficial desk plates for the lower grades; whilst 2D and 3D shapes, multiplication tables and a daily timetable may be more appropriate desk plates for the upper grades.
The possibilities for displays boards in your classroom are endless! Create display boards around your classroom which serve a variety of purposes. For example, you could create some subject-specific display boards (for literacy, numeracy, or a science topic), a classroom management display board (for rules and behavior, daily routines and student responsibilities) and a special occasion display board (for birthdays, upcoming celebrations and special events). Make your display boards visually-appealing by using colorful backing paper and patterned or theme-based borders. Be creative!
Learning stations can be an effective way of organising educational resources in your classroom. They are also a helpful tool for your students, who will hopefully learn quickly where to find whatever resources they might be looking for! Some ideas for learning stations in your classroom include a reading corner, a maths zone and an arts/crafts table. It is also a good idea to have a range of enriching activities on hand for fast-finishers. These might include card and/or board games, design and make activities or subject-specific task cards.
Creating a Theme
Some teachers like to choose a theme at the beginning of a new school year, decorating their classrooms accordingly. Some ideas for classroom themes include the ocean, the rainforest, wizards, owls, superheroes… once again, the possibilities are endless.
Now that you have the tools and the know-how to set up your classroom, it’s time to start decorating. Enjoy!
If you have an amazing classroom setup, please post it on our Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtag #teachstarter. We would love to see and share it!