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Adding Spark to Classrooms in the New School Year With Decorations

Students are not the only ones excited about starting the new school year off with some new style. Teachers across the country are getting in on the action and giving their classrooms a design update to help welcome students back.

Newly decorated classrooms help to visually stimulate students’ minds and help usher them in with enthusiasm for learning in a fresh and comfortable classroom environment.

Just about every teacher will certainly be familiar with the term “flexible seating,” referring to an organization of chairs and desks that breaks away from the standard row formation and gives students a choice in where they sit. Benefits of the approach include increased motivation and engagement. While rearranging desks and chairs will certainly solve the issue of third graders kicking the back of each other’s chairs, it might not necessarily inject a classroom with a burst of creative energy.

Not many school districts are likely to shell out extra money for fancy classroom decorations, but thankfully a little bit can go a long way. Some construction paper and tape is all that’s needed to turn that boring trash can in the corner into a trash monster.

Discount chain stores have an incredible selection of arts and crafts supplies and even throw pillows and rugs all for under $5 that can be used for study corners. Writing for EdSurge, Chrissy Romano-Arrabito, an elementary school teacher, said that she was able to connect easier with students when working on their assignments. “I would pull up with small groups of kids on the rug to share what they were writing about during their drafting process. This allowed me to provide valuable feedback long before they shared their piece with their peers or submitted it for a grade,” wrote Romano-Arrabito.

Even if some classroom decoration designs are only temporary, they help to mentally get students excited about their new teacher’s lesson plans. Donna Thomas Phillips, a computer technology teacher in Randolph County, Alabama, decorated her blackboard with styrofoam containers to resemble a giant keyboard.

Teachers in Terre Haute, Indiana, recently bounced design ideas off each other with DeVaney and Lost Creek elementary schools coming together for their first Parade of Classrooms. The event gave teachers a chance to tour each other’s classrooms without students present and function as a team-building activity to help staff get excited for the new school year.

“I think we had a great turnout,” Rebecca Boehler, a first-grade teacher at DeVaney who helped organize the event told the Tribune Star. “The main objective of this activity is for teachers to be able to walk into classrooms, have their phones out taking pictures, taking notes of different ideas that they can incorporate into their classrooms for the upcoming school year.”

Whatever teachers choose to do with their classroom design in the new school year, whether it a simple flexible seating arrangement or all out Jurassic theme, the important thing is to create a welcoming space for them to learn.

 

Article by Joel Stice, Education World Contributor

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