Often, teachers feel the classroom decor is an extension of who they are as teachers. Organized, bright, calm, or comfortable. The classroom environment we create does tell a bit about who we are as teachers. However, it does not tell everything.
I’ll go ahead and say that the validity is of the study is questionable, but it does bring up a good question. How much is too much?
Although I’m a fairly disorganized person when it comes to physical space, I’m fussy about my classroom. In a room where sixty-eight fifth graders come in my room every day, I set myself up for failure if I’m too decorative.
Here are some questions with my responses regarding classroom decoration and organization.
Does form follow function?
This is definitely more important when designing buildings, but there’s something to think about here. The function of the trays in the photo above is to collect papers from 3 different classes. The trays are metal and awesome and lasted all year. They will last many more years. The paper on the bottoms of each tray did fine. The letters…not so much. I made them on my Silhouette and while I loved them, they did not serve the function intended.
What has got to go?
One of my favorite things to say is, “It gots to go.” The photo above shows my classroom when I arrived. It’s a combination of my stuff and things that were left in the room. I almost crapped my pants when I walked in and saw the room. In my opinion, if you aren’t using it or didn’t know you had it, get rid of it. Now.
How long will is last?
The ribbons on the notebook baskets were a nice touch. How long did it last? Well, out of 15 notebook baskets, 3 still have the ribbon and card. It’s a lot of work to make something that won’t last.
How much print is too much print?
This photo is of my front bulletin board. This is the most “print rich” area in my room. Usually, there are 2 anchor charts on the bulletin board at any given time. Is there sensory overload? Probably not. I keep the same color families, it’s 2 dimensional, and everything there is relevant to instruction.