A Space To Work And Learn
Recently, one of my English department colleagues came to drop off a box of books in my classroom. This is the ninth year that I have been in this same classroom, but before that, the classroom was hers. After she put the box down, she commented, with nostalgia, about how I have kept the border decorations that she left on the bulletin board that is the back wall of my classroom. It occurred to me then that what I have created to decorate my classroom space really does mean something. My classroom is the space where I spend many hours, so it should be a comfortable space to work. More importantly, I want to create a space that is welcoming and stimulating for my students, without the décor being a distraction. Therefore, I put a lot of thought and effort into the bulletin boards and walls, like so many teachers do. Below are ideas that I have implemented over the years.
Quotes & Author Hashtags
Posting inspirational quotes in the classroom is by no means an original idea. Im sure you can bring your mind back to your own middle/high school classroom and remember some of the quote posters your teachers displayed. In the last few years however, quotes have had a surge of popularity in that they are posted, liked, and shared on the virtual bulletin boards that are Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Students love to find that perfect quote that connects with how they are feeling and share it for the world to see. In my classroom, I like to share quotes of the weekfrom famous authors or from the novels/short stories/plays that we will be studying.
If you want to create a fresh ELA bulletin board to display quotes, consider creating Author Hashtags where you write the quote and hashtag the authors name, the written work it comes from, the date of publication, or any other category you see fit like these Shakespeare Hashtags below.
Bonus Tip: The Famous Wood Wall
This one is not easy. In fact, it takes forever. But its my personal favorite hack for making a classroom look homey: the wood wall! You can find this fadeless paper at your local teacher store or on Its just regular bulletin board paper, so I stapled mine to the walls. I have a tutorial saved on my story highlights if you want to see the process of covering my wall!
I hope these tips help you create a space that you and your students love! If you would like to see more photos of my classroom and gain insight on my design process, check out this post on my flexible seating. For more tips, pics, and tutorials, head to While youre here, let me know your favorite classroom decoration idea in the comments!
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How To Use Purposeful Decor To Decorate A Secondary Classroom
The SuperHERO Teacher 1. Create an element of surprise.I have a template here if you’re interested2. Print and frame motivational quotes.Amplifier ArtThe motivational posters in the photo below are in my store here. 3. Display student work.FREE “Rad Work” sign4. Design interactive bulletin boards. interactive reading literature bulletin boardinteractive bulletin boards here5. Use paint or removable wallpaper to transform the space. 6. Include the cultures of your students. 7. Create sections in your classroom floor plan. zen zoneZen ZoneRad Work freebie
English Language Arts Classrooms Just Got Colorful
There are many beautiful boards of elementary school classrooms with the most wonderful themes, colors, decoration, and inspiration. Lets face it, decorating a secondary classroom is different.How is decorating a secondary classroom different?
Ive found a resurgence of excitement in decorating my classroom. I do it for my students. But I realized something. I also do it for me. It makes me feel really great to be in a colorful and inspiring learning space. The last two school years Ive been lucky to be in the same classroom for the majority of the school day.
I always loved classroom pennants. They look great on bulletin boards, hanging on walls, doors, windows, above a book shelf, draped on a teachers desk, and even across the room hanging from the ceiling. I am most passionate about teaching literature and it is the center of my lessons. I tie everything in with our readings.
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Classrooms Should Be Engaging Not Distracting
Thats not to say that every wall must be bare. In 2015, a team of researchers in the U.K. analyzed 153 classrooms and found that students benefited most when the walls had some decorations. The displays on the walls should be designed to provide a lively sense to the classroom, but without becoming chaotic in feel. As a rule of thumb, 20 to 50 percent of the available wall space should be kept clear, the researchers wrote.
So what do researchers say teachers should do?
Stunning Classroom Decorating Ideas To Make Your Classroom Sparkle
Its back to school time! Here is a set of 14 inspirational classroom decor ideas and tips to help you power through setting up your classroom. Youll find themed classroom decor, creative ways to decorate outside the box and even ways to make decorating easier.
I hope you find these classroom decorating ideas fun and fuel to help make your classroom sparkle.
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What Is A Supply Sweep And How Do I Do It
Doing a supply sweep will not only save you money but will also surprise you as to how many classroom supplies you already have lying around your house or maybe at your workplace.
You can start doing a supply sweep by checking all closets, desk drawers, file cabinets, and basements bins, and youll never know what kind of hidden gems awaits you in your search for additional and free school supplies.
Once you have rounded up all the supplies you already own. You can now isolate all the items you already have and you can now make a list of all the items you need for your classroom.
You can also ask the parents of your students to participate and ask them if there are any items in their household that they are no longer using but can be useful for their kids class
Repurpose Old Planner Pages As Wall Art
If you feel like you wasted money on that adorable planner that you abandoned after a month, then this hack is for you! Remove the cute pages before each month and then repurpose them in cheap frames for cute wall art! The prints below are from my Happy Planners and the frames are from the Dollar Tree.
- I recycled my planner pages with $1 frames.
- I saved these cute pages from my planner.
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Add A Little Sparkle With Some Lights
A few string lights can make your classroom feel magical! I love to buy lights when they go on sale after Christmas. Ive also found outdoor lights on clearance at the end of summer at Target.
- I found these lights on clearance after Christmas!
- I found these outdoor patio lights on clearance at the end of summer at Target.
Decorate Drab Surfaces With Decals
This is another Dollar Tree classroom hack! They have some amazing decals that you can use to dress up drab surfaces like ugly filing cabinets or drawers. I stalk the store every so often and always find a few new ones. These decals are easy to apply and remove!
- I loved dressing up my classroom storage.
- Filing cabinets dont have to be ugly!
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Author Social Media Profiles
When I first started teaching, I purchased posters with biographical information about famous English authors and proudly displayed them on my back bulletin board. Sadly, no one looked at them. Ok, thats not entirely true. I had the occasional, Awesome! This dudes last name is Bacon comment, but it didnt exactly get my students excited about English literary history
I was on social media one night and saw the word TIMELINE in bold on my profile and thought, Eureka! I will create an author timeline. I was just going to make a profile for William Shakespeare, but I got out of control and ended up making 30. For each , I added a profile picture of the author, quotes for a status update, interesting info on the side, and a timeline of the authors life.
It was quite an undertaking, but I learned some incredibly strange tidbits about some of the authors I love. For example:
- Maya Angelou was the first African American female cable car conductor.
- Actor and comedian, Mike Myers, is a descendent of William Wordsworth . Ummm, huh?
- Ernest Hemingway had a six-toed cat, and many cats living in the Hemingway Key West Museum are descended from that original cat and also have six toes. Weird.
Give Students Creative Control
It doesnt all have to be up to you.
If you get your students involved in the decorating process, you can make it a fun activity for the class and get a helping hand. Making and putting up decorations as a class can give your students a sense of satisfaction and pride. Knowing that their work will be displayed for everyone to see will encourage students to put more effort in the activity.
If you dont have time to set aside for decoration classes, all is not lost. You can simply choose some of their best work from other classes to display on the walls.
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Time Timer Analog Timer
Proper time management is important to practice in classrooms, so that lesson plans will go as scheduled and students will be able to practice managing their time for various tasks. Its a tap to your behavioral management plans that can make your classroom extra organized!
Time Timers Analog Timer will surely help students keep track of the time, making sure that every minute counts as they work on their tasks.
It measures 5. 5 inches x 7 inches and weighs about 12 ounces. Ideal for individual use or small to medium groups, a one AA battery is required. The battery compartment is securely closed by a small screw and a mini Phillips head screwdriver will be needed to open and close the battery compartment making it very safe for use inside the classroom as it strictly adheres to CPSIA standards
It is a 60-minute analog countdown clock that offers a carrying handle, protective lens, and a center knob for ease of use around the school, office, or at home. It can be used for personal time management or for small groups that do a range of activitieskeeping their allotted time, for each activity, in check.
The simplistic design caters to both students and those who have special needs. The Time Timer is proven to ease transitions and encourages the independence of students as well as productivity for all abilities, including those with Autism, ADHD, or other special needs.
How To Buy Classroom Supplies
A teacher who has been teaching for about three or more years might already be familiar with the classroom supplies they will be needing to be equipped for the whole year.
If you are someone who gets a bit overwhelmed and just ends up buying a whole load of classroom supplies but not really needing everything that was just bought in a quick span of a shopping spree.
This list might help you narrow down all the important things a high school teacher should get for their classroom. Being sure what type of supplies youll be needing for your class will help you decide on what to purchase and not end up buying unnecessary things.
But first of all, lets get down to the things you should put into consideration before buying classroom staples you will be using for the whole year.
Quality over quantity. When planning to buy something, one should always ensure the quality of the item you are planning to purchase. Of course, reading a few reviews and a little research can help you to determine if its the right classroom for you.
You surely dont want to end up buying something that you thought was a good deal because of the price and quantity it comes with, and to only find yourself using the item for a short period of time because of the poor quality as well as ending up losing the money you spent on it.
Try to always think about long-term use, look for something that can last longer than a whole school year to help you save more money in the long run.
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High School English Classroom Decorations
- Use literature. If your class is reading books from a certain era, real or imagined,, use those stories and authors to inspire your classroom decorations. If your focus is on British Lit, dedicate an area of the room to Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland.
- Make a word wall. Literature is full of unique and uncommon words. Make a word wall for your students to post words and definitions from their reading.
- Leave some empty space for imagination. Post writing tips or important questions for literature analysis. Let your students turn this space into whatever they want in regards your subject of study.
Use $1 Frames To Give Your Posters Some Class
If you create or purchase a set of posters, you can elevate their look with inexpensive frames from a dollar store. I actually did this with the front pages of The New York Times to create a fun display for my journalism and newspaper students! I often referenced elements of these pages during my lessons so it was functional AND decorative. You can find front pages through Newseum or a Google search.
- I purchased these $1 frames and printed the pages for free.
- These frames created a fun display for my journalism and newspaper classes.
Organize Your Supply Station
Keeping your supply station organized will help you keep a tab of the items that are almost used up and items that you still have a lot of stocks. Organizing your supply station will also teach your students to put back whatever items they used and they will surely put it back if you notice that something is missing.
Teachers can also instill discipline to their students as well as the assurance that classroom supplies will be out back where they originally belong, and this means fewer lost supplies, and less money going out of a teachers pocket.
Classroom Wall Decoration Ideas For High School
Here are some general basics you can implement to decorate the walls of your classroom. Most of these things vary from every classroom and your style as a teacher, but we have a few ideas to offer.
Here are a few more tips for the best high school classroom decorationsspecific to the subject youre teaching.
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Diy Classroom Decor Tips
7. How to DIY Curriculum Boxes to Cute Book Display Boxes Dont spend a lot on containers. Use what you have like scrapbook paper to refinish old curriculum boxes a functional way to display your classroom library or featured books.
8. How to Display Posters Away from the Wall Make the hard work you stand out. Literally! Use dixie cups to make your clip chart for behavior or for tracking students writing process pop out from the wall.
Tips For Decorating English Classrooms For Teens
cant in betweenPresto PlansInside My Farmhouse Classroom Makeover1. Have a color scheme Sara:contrastBonnie: 2. Stick to a few favorite fontsSara: 3. Make your classroom library a focal pointBonnie: draw students in
- Give bookshelves a makeover by rolling them a new coat of paint and/or taking the shelves out and attaching wallpaper or scrapbook paper to the back.
- Put a few floating shelves on the walls near your library area where you can feature particular novels recommended by students.
- Add comfortable, flexible seating near a library to make it more welcoming. These items can be more expensive, so shop around online or scour garage sales until you find seating that may work.
- Use old books as decorations! When a book is unusable, find a way to repurpose it. One easy way to do this is to cut out the pages and write a reading-inspired quote in black permanent marker on top of the page. Frame the page and put it on your bookshelf!
Sara: 5. Use author-inspired decorSara: 6. Make your posters work togetherSara: Bonnie:
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