Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day to all the teachers, educators, and administrators. One of the most important and influential jobs is to educate, teach, and guide younger generations into becoming kind, generous, and helpful members of society. On this National Teacher Appreciation Day, we want to explore new ways to spruce up and modernize your classroom, so that learning can be fun and engaging for all.
If you are looking to re-vamp your educational haven but don’t know where to start, here are seven different ways to spruce up and modernize the classroom. Who knows? Maybe these ideas will inspire you to expand and make even more changes! No matter the age, the environment in which students learn, discover, and problem-solve can be colorful, and full of imagination. Turn your classroom into a creative yet educational environment for both students and teachers to enjoy. Here are some examples:
1. Add a Pop of Color: Adding a fresh coat of paint or colorful accents to the walls can transform the look and feel of a classroom. Consider using bright colors or patterns that can create a fun and inviting atmosphere. Believe it or not, there is some psychology around the colors you surround yourself with. For example, green colors can help people feel calm, yellow can be a sign of happiness, and red can indicate intensity. Consider the feelings and emotions you want students to have while in your classroom and choose colors accordingly. You might be surprised how much color can affect the mannerisms, moods, and attitudes of your students.
2. Incorporate Plants: Adding plants to the classroom not only adds a natural element to the room but also has a calming effect on students. Consider incorporating easy-to-care-for plants, such as succulents or spider plants, in the classroom. If you have younger students, the plants can also serve as an opportunity to teach them about photosynthesis, the different types of plants, and the environments they can grow. Older students can learn how to care for the different types of plants as well.
3. Personalize Bulletin Boards: Bulletin boards can be used as a way to showcase student work, but they can also be used as a way to decorate the classroom. Consider adding seasonal decorations, inspirational quotes, or colorful borders to bulletin boards. Pacon® construction paper can be cut into flowers, fall-colored leaves, and snowflakes to indicate the different seasons in that school is in session. Have students help with decorating by giving them all a leaf, a snowflake, or a flower to make and hang up.
4. Install Functional Storage: Clutter can make a classroom feel cramped and disorganized. Install functional storage solutions, such as bookshelves or storage bins, to help keep the classroom neat and tidy. One of our favorites has been the Bright Beginnings® double-sided wooden book display.
5. Add Flexible Seating Options: Consider adding flexible seating options, such as bean bags or floor cushions, to the classroom if you are able. This can create a comfortable and relaxed environment for students to learn and work in. Flash Furniture has a wide variety of flexible seating options such as different colored bean bag chairs, which can help create the perfect reading nook in the classroom.
6. Incorporate Technology: Technology can be used to enhance learning and engagement in the classroom. Consider adding interactive whiteboards or tablets to the classroom to keep students engaged and motivated. If the district budget allows, try advocating for your classroom or school to have Chromebooks for students to utilize for different assignments. A few favorites include the Acer Chromebook 511, the HP Chromebook 14A G5, and the ASUS Flip 11.6” Touchscreen Chromebook.
7. Create a Reading Nook: A cozy reading nook can be a great addition to a classroom. Consider adding comfortable seating, a rug, and a bookshelf filled with age-appropriate books to create a space where students can relax and read. Make it fun by giving your reading nook a theme, such as The Cozy Cabin, Magical Forest, or Vintage Library. Decorating is the fun part, so try to find items that match the theme to make reading fun!
The pros of modernizing your classroom definitely outweigh the cons, because improving the appearance of where students learn is beneficial. The only downside to sprucing up your classroom would be the cost of everything. School supplies can add up, and teachers tend to purchase things for their classrooms with their own money. Here are some ways to save money and cut down the cost while still finding opportunities to encourage creativity and learning:
- Shop at thrift stores or buy second-hand.
- Purchase items from retired teacher-friends.
- Buy in bulk.
- Use coupons.
- Take advantage of rewards programs.
- Make your own!
- Ask for donations.
The types of additions you make to your classroom can depend on a few different factors, one being the age group you teach. For example, a kindergarten classroom is going to look a little different than a high school or junior high school classroom, so make sure you are looking at age-appropriate items and decorations. Here are some examples of modern classroom must-haves to purchase that fall within each age group of students:
- The Melissa & Doug Puppet Theater. This toy is perfect for an early learning classroom or a daycare facility and can help initiate creative play, imagination, and the development of social skills. Having this in your classroom can help students learn to share, tell stories, and most importantly, have fun!
- Wood Design’s Mobile Storage Unit. This toy organization structure can help students learn colors, how to sort items, and how to put things back where they belong. With 25 trays, organizing the classroom has never been easier!
- HamiltonBuhl T-Pro USB Headset. This headset is specifically designed for students and features a noise-canceling microphone which is perfect for school testing. Even though it’s not as aesthetic as some of the other suggestions, having modern technology in the classroom is just as important as the colorful toys and décor.
- Flagship Carpets, Maps That Teach. This carpet featuring a map of the world can help students visualize the continents on a flat surface compared to a globe. It can also be the place in your classroom where students come to sit together and listen to a book or have a morning meeting.
- Learning Resources® Magnetic Storage Bins can be a fun and colorful way to stay organized. Keep all your necessary teaching supplies in one spot to make it easy and move the storage bins anywhere that is magnetic.
- If you have an ongoing theme for your classroom, be sure to check out some of the wall decorations from Teacher Created Resources. These are also great for different subject matters like social studies and science.
- Middle School can be tough for everyone, teachers included. Depending on the type of classroom you teach in, this Flash Furniture Bean Bag Chair can be a nice seating option for leisurely reading or for when students need a break from their desks.
- Middle schoolers can be a little critical sometimes, especially of your classroom décor. These U Brands Fashion Metal Thumbtacks in Gold can really spruce things up in your teacher desk area, or wherever you need push pins.
- U-Brands Succulent Magnets. These cute little magnets might not generate too much enthusiasm from students, but they can bring a little pop of color, imagination, and fun to your bulletin boards.
- Quartet Neon Dry Erase Marker Set. Instead of using the typical dry-erase marker colors, try using these neon ones to spruce up your whiteboard game. Bright colors can make learning more fun, right?
So, there you have it, seven different ways to modernize and spruce up your classroom for the sake of learning. Of course, there are more ways to refresh your space either with new supplies, decorations, or furniture, but we’ll leave it up to you to decide what your classroom needs.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Day from all of us here at W.B. Mason. With the amazing work that teachers do every day to help their students grow, learn, and discover new things, Teacher Appreciation Day should be celebrated every day!