| | |

4 Must-Have Features in Classroom Decor

Do you like decorating your classroom for a new school year? This was always one of my favorite things as a classroom teacher. Aside from the obvious reason to decorate our classrooms for aesthetic appeal, there are many other things to consider when choosing a classroom decor set. If you’re curious about what’s on my must-haves list for classroom decor, you’re in the right place! Today we’re chatting about 4 features you should look for in classroom decor. All 4 are important to make your classroom both beautiful and functional!

1. Use Classroom Decor to Create a Welcoming Environment

First up, creating a welcoming environment is arguably the most important in my book. This is especially true at the beginning of the year. Additionally, it’s the traditional reason many teachers choose to decorate their classrooms. After all, if we can create a warm and welcoming space for our students, they are much more likely to feel comfortable and happy during their day with us!

When it comes to creating a welcoming environment with classroom decor, there are so many great options. To get started, first think about what theme you’d like to use in your classroom. Some teachers like to use similar themes year after year, while others change it up every time!

No matter which camp you’re in, choosing a classroom decor theme is a fun way to showcase your personality through your classroom decor. Over the years I used a variety of classroom decor themes. Some of my favorites have been:

No matter what theme you choose, landing on one will help pull everything together and create a cohesive, welcoming look in your classroom.

Getting Started with Classroom Decor

Once you’ve decided on a theme, consider adding some personalized touches to help children feel welcome. Some of my favorites are custom desk nameplates and a birthday chart. When students arrive on the first day of school and see their names on their desks, displayed on the birthday board, and in other areas around the room, they are always so excited!

Using a fun welcome banner and getting schedule cards ready is another way to help children feel comfortable in the environment. I’m a big fan of schedule cards especially since they allow the students to see what they can expect during our day. This predictability helps put their minds at ease and calm those back-to-school jitters!

All of these elements are included in what I call my Classroom Decor Starter Packs. These starter pack resources are designed to get your classroom set up with the basics for a cohesive, fun design that makes your students feel welcome! In addition to the elements I mentioned, you’ll also find behavior clip charts, shape posters, color posters, a basic calendar set, and more. The starter packs are a great place to start if you’re looking to create a welcoming environment for your students.

2. Using Classroom Decor to Get Organized

Aside from making your classroom look cute and welcoming to your students, classroom decor should also help you stay organized. As a teacher in the primary classroom, we have so many resources and materials to keep track of! If you don’t have a good system in place for managing all of these items, it doesn’t take long for your space to feel chaotic. I know this was true for me in my first years of teaching!

Thankfully, after some time in the classroom, I figured out exactly what I needed to stay organized. I found that for me, one of the best systems for classroom organization was plastic drawer carts with editable labels. While it may seem simple, I found this was the best way to keep most of our papers organized and easily accessible to both the children and myself. Plus, the editable labels allowed me to switch things up quickly and easily throughout the year. I used these plastic drawers for morning work, fast finisher activities, homework collection, small group planning, and more.

In my classroom, I was a big advocate for labeling ALL the things, not just the drawers. The labeling included book bins in our classroom library, school supplies, manipulatives, and classroom centers as well. I even liked to label my clock to help students learn to tell time and remember what each number on the clock stands for. Keeping labels on everything helps students navigate around the classroom during centers and keep materials organized. Not to mention, it helps to streamline the look of your classroom as well!

3. Classroom Decor and Academics

Another important feature in your classroom decor should be an academic focus aligned with your grade level. In the primary classroom, there are so many ways to help support learning through the classroom decor. In my room, it was important to me that our classroom decor included the following:

All of these elements are super useful in guiding children towards mastery of what we’re learning throughout the year. The alphabet and number posters are especially helpful towards the beginning of the year when firsties are brushing up on what they learned in kindergarten. As we moved on through the year, the word wall played an instrumental role in helping children master sight words, vocabulary words, and phonics skills. Making your word wall a daily learning tool is a great way to maximize your classroom decor’s potential for supporting students.

When it comes to math, we used our calendar activities and number line daily to focus on number sense. These tools help students learn important concepts like ways to make more or less, skip count, expanded form, tally marks, and more. In my classroom, I made these activities part of our daily routine to help make the most out of our classroom decor and support my students in learning key math concepts. Read more about calendar math and how to use it here!

4. Classroom Management

Last, but certainly not least, classroom decor should help manage your room. When it comes to teaching first grade, nothing should be left to chance. What I mean by this is that children in the primary grades need clear rules and expectations to thrive.

Setting up your classroom rule charts and going over them in the early days of the school year is key to success. I liked to leave my classroom rules posted all year long, adding to them if needed. The editable slides in this resource make adding rules simple and easy! Having the rules displayed helps remind children what’s expected of them and keeps them on task all year long.

Another important piece of classroom management is your classroom jobs. When I was still in the classroom, assigning jobs was one of my favorite parts of the week, and my kiddos loved it too. Classroom jobs help support independence and responsibility while teaching new skills. Children in elementary school classrooms LOVE to help! Assigning jobs is a great way to encourage students to help and foster a sense of community!

The class job chart I used is editable to allow for adding student names and customizing jobs. There are also different clip art versions too so that I could choose a set that aligned perfectly with what I needed.

Hand Signals and Visual Direction Cards

I also liked to use hand signals and visual direction cards for classroom management. These are both great tools to help keep your classroom orderly and get students the help they need. Hand signals are used as a method of communication that’s non-distracting to the rest of the group.

At the beginning of the year, we learn what specific hand signals mean to request things like going to the restroom, asking for help with an assignment, getting water, or sharpening a pencil. These hand signals are great for when you’d like your students to communicate their needs quietly during whole group learning or center time. I customize these hand signal posters and then display them to help remind my students how to get their needs addressed all year long.

Visual direction cards are another way to ensure an orderly and quiet classroom that promotes independence. I used these primarily during center time when I wanted my students to be able to complete activities independently. These are especially helpful when students are new readers, and not quite able to read directions on their own. Each card provides a colorful picture along with a direction word to support your students’ understanding of basic directions.

To use, I lay these cards out along with number cards to show what order to complete each step and what supplies are needed. These cards also tell my students if they should complete these activities alone, with a partner, or in a group. The cards are editable to allow for endless customization as well. They’re perfect for magnetic boards, a pocket chart, or simply arranged on a table in a center area.

Finding A Classroom Decor Set That Has It ALL!

If you’re anything like me, you probably want a classroom decor set that hits on all these features. After all, if you’re going to spend the time prepping and decorating your classroom, you may as well make sure you hit on all the important features, right? That’s my train of thought anyway!

Alphabet posters like these are not only an awesome decor piece for your classroom but can be used countless times during the day as visual instruction aides.

While you can certainly piece different decor sets together to meet your needs, if you’re looking for a set that has it all, you’re in luck! I have a variety of classroom decor bundles in my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop. Every classroom decor bundle in my store includes all of the items mentioned and more. You’ll have everything you need in these classroom decor sets to create a room that’s not only beautiful and welcoming to students, but also highly functional!

These sets are editable, and some in a wide variety of themes and colors, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a no-fuss way to cover aesthetics, academics, organization, and classroom management, be sure to check out all of my classroom decor bundles for your one-stop solution!

Save This Post

Pin this post on Pinterest to help plan out your classroom decor for the next school year!


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *