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