Color?  Primary? Red, Yellow, Blue?  Theme?  Lakeshore? Really Good Stuff?  Hobby Lobby? Michaels?

Photo Jul 23, 2 00 07 PMAh, decisions abounding; however, made.  What do kids like?  What resonates with 7 and 8 year olds? For years I have loved Julys, planning the theme of my upcoming classroom, with the bows, black and white polka dots, butcher paper sculptures, among a myriad of handmade touches.  My grandmother’s baking cabinet has graced my classroom ever since I fell in love with Debbie Miller’s book, Reading for Meaning decades ago.  My friend calls the classroom the Second Teacher, and I agree with her.   But I am asking myself….what am I trying to teach with my environment?   I have been reflecting upon my personal decorative passions, I am asking myself as I reflect on my history, “who have I been decorating for?”  The antique cabinet that I mentioned became more of a dust collector than a place for kids, paper sculptures drooped and took up valuable wall space, handmade bows were untied and tied again with really no purpose. My collection of antique readers were only a display, not an active part of my students’  Photo Jul 23, 1 59 55 PM Photo Jul 23, 2 00 00 PM (1)

learning.  However comments such as “Oh, your classroom is so inviting!”  “Wow, what a cute room!” and/or  “What a great environment…”  kept me going from year to year.

All of this is part of my conscious shifting.   I have tried to envision a place that is joyful and colorful, yet completely flexible for a moments change in the room.  Kids’ work will continue to grace the space; however, there will virtual pictures of work streaming from the monitors throughout the room.  The color scheme is a bit more muted than I have used in the past, concentrating on lighter green, browns and splashes of bright orange—actually this is a fairly trendy palette of late.  So far, I like it!  Do all teachers have the luxury of painting the walls in their room and having fancy computer wall monitors?  Most likely not—-YET.  But, hopefully I can use this pilot to try some new things, helping all of us move into a more purposeful and resourceful use of space.  Here goes!

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2 thoughts on “July Teacher Decor Frenzy

    1. Hi Norene,

      That is the beauty of this flexible environment. There are really no pieces of furniture that are static in this room. Here are some examples, if students are excited to share some thinking, spontaneously and readily, they will be able to drag a 5′ x 7′ stage into the center of the room and share. With 1 to 1 IPADS, students will be continually documenting their thinking into digital portfolios. If they would like to show this on a constant stream on a wall mounted monitor, they will simply put the image into Dropbox.

      I hear you though in regard to kid input. Do you have any ideas as I plan for the new year? I would like to really focus on this element and have kids “own” this space more than ever before! I would appreciate your thoughts. I have browsed your Twitter page, and see that you would be a great thinking partner for me!

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