Classroom Decorating Ideas

Classroom Decoration Themes for Busy Elementary Teachers

When it comes to classroom decorating ideas, there is definitely a wide range of ideas regarding how much is enough in elementary schools...and how much is too much.

I feel that classroom decorations should be clean and not too fussy. They shouldn't take over a room just for the sake of decoration and they should be cute and nicely-coordinated but not overdone. This approach will welcome the children in a positive manner.

The Real Purpose of Our Classrooms

The lower the grade level, the more ornate the decorations tend to be. There are good reasons for this, including the nurturing needs of little learners. But an effective teacher should never forget that younger kids are more prone to distraction, and this knowledge mitigates against overdoing the stuff adorning the walls and tabletops.

From kindergarten to the twelfth grade, the number one point of anything we do in our classrooms - including decorations - is to enhance learning. Decorations should never be a distraction.

Here's my general rule: If the decorations are the first thing you notice when you walk into a classroom, then I personally think something is amiss. I believe the first thing a classroom visitor should notice is what the children are learning.

Practical Classroom Decorating Ideas

But with all of that said, good decorations can be a real community builder because children want to feel good about how their classroom looks.

There are certain minimum standards, in my opinion, when implementing classroom decorating ideas. Any classroom should have these items:

  • Nameplates
  • Calendar
  • Room job labels
  • Book tub labels
  • Supply labels
  • Locker labels (if present)
  • Alphabet

I say these are a minimum because it's simply too easy to do at least this amount. And it should go without saying that classroom themes which include these items should be coordinating to really create the best environment.

Any new teacher who has put up the labels, etc. I have noted will really have done all that is necessary to get ready for the first day of school.

Colorful classroom decorations
Bright colors highlight a writing lesson

A little coordination

The next step is to make your various wall displays coordinate. This includes bulletin boards or the list of your classroom rules or even your room jobs.

It makes me crazy to walk into a classroom and see four bulletin boards with four different (mismatched) patterns. In my opinion, that's like yelling at kids; clashing colors don't do our students with attention deficit disorders any favors.

The next level of coordination is to color-code containers such as book tubs. As with the items listed above, this is not difficult or overly expensive; it simply takes some forethought and a trip to the dollar store to buy matching sets.

Keep it simple

Those are the basic classroom decorating ideas in a nutshell. The fun, of course, is in the details, but I want to reassure new teachers - or any teachers entering a new (and barren) classroom that following these basics really are sufficient for getting started.

Best to use the majority of your energy and time getting your lesson plans ready!

In general, classroom decorations should be organized, clean, and pleasing to the eye. These articles will help you achieve these goals.

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