As school budgets get slashed, teachers can find creative ways to decorate their classrooms in stylish, creative ways. What resources can they use and how can they be used in a classroom? This article examines some classroom decorating ideas that teachers may not have considered.
Each February, many malls or stores mark their calendars between 50 – 75% off. Choosing a calendar which somehow relates to a class’ subject matter is a great way to decorate a classroom. To remove the photos without tearing them, remove the staple from the middle of the calendar. Use a paper cutter along the crease to generate 12 high quality photos to display in your room. This is much less expensive than buying posters from a publishing company. If a teacher is concerned about students either writing on the pictures or having them fade over time, have the school office laminate them as well.
Students love photos of all kinds. Sign up for free magazine subscriptions when available, use advertisement fliers, or have parents donate old magazines. Have students assemble collage boards or posters related to current content to decorate their own classroom. This works especially well in a vocabulary driven class, but also works in other courses. For example, students could cut out food pictures for either a nutrition poster, a Spanish menu, or a travel math project. When students use images in addition to their content, they make stronger connections with the real world. Magazines can also be used for other educational purposes.
Many high school students are happy to display their artwork. Too often, though, they complete a long, tedious art project only to take it home and have it sit in a corner. If possible, work with the art teacher to plan a cross-curricular art activity. For example, science students could draw an abstract of what they see through a microscope. In English, students could merge poetry and art into a creative form. The main idea is to not only decorate a classroom, but encourage students to make the room connect with them personally while learning content at the same time. In addition, using students’ artwork helps them feel more at home and an important part of the class environment.
No longer are teachers restricted to decorating bulletin boards with traditional cutouts and borders. Colored printers, magazines, and artistic students expand the options available for creative decorating. All it takes is a little ingenuity.
What classroom decorating ideas do you have? Please comment below to help other teachers.
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