When I was in school to become a teacher, I couldn’t wait for the day that I would get to go and pick out classroom decor for my own room. Borders, posters, school supplies…you name it, and I wanted it. So, when the time finally came to get classroom decorations for my own elementary classroom, I went and spent tons of money on cute decor. My walls were covered in posters, inspirational quotes, and more. I was in heaven.
But as the year passed, I learned a few things about just what type of classroom decorations are best to have. Keep scrolling to learn how and why you should decorate your classroom and some of my all-time favorite resources to do so. I’m also sharing some classroom decor ideas & tips that will help you get your room set up this school year.
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Why is Decorating a Classroom Important?
Sure, classroom decorations aren’t the MOST important thing. But we do want our students to enter our classrooms knowing that we took time to prepare for their arrival. We want students to know that they are entering a positive space where trust can be built, relationships can be formed, and content can be learned. Having a welcoming classroom environment helps students feel that. So how can we create that?
Things to Keep in Mind when Decorating a Classroom:
1. Keep your Classroom Decor Simple & Clutter-Free
You want to keep your walls and your classroom clutter-free. The cleaner your decorating style is, the more space you’ll have for other necessities in your classroom.
Your students will thrive is a space that is neat, organized, and visually appealing. While you may still adore the drawings and knick-knacks students gave you two years ago, it may be time to retire them. Get rid of old furniture that serves no purpose in your room. Find a spot for the stack of boxes in the corner. Functional decor such as Cubby shelves and fabric storage cubes are great for hiding books, supplies, and extra materials.
Hack for Hiding Stacks of Boxes/Books: I used to be grade level chair at my school and was always in charge of storing the extra grade level textbooks in my room. My classroom was tiny! I ended up hiding all of the boxes under computer tables and hanging a piece of fabric to serve as a ‘tablecloth’ to hide the mess. It was a great way to make the classroom look less cluttered!
2. Avoid Having a Distracting & Overstimulating Space for your Students
You will have all types of learners in your classroom, including students that are easily distracted or may get overwhelmed with an overstimulating classroom . You can create a colorful and fun space, while keeping it simple. Avoid using busy patterns, hard-to-read fonts, and clashing colors. You also don’t need decor and posters on every inch of your room. Leaving empty wall space in the room is a good thing and will benefit your students.
3. A Calm Classroom Environment is Best
Think about how you work best. For me, I need a peaceful environment to lesson plan or grade in. Your students likely thrive in a calm classroom environment as well! Add calming string lights that can be turned on while the lights are off in your classroom. This ‘bistro’ vibe will help students focus during independent activities. Create a cozy, calming space with throw pillows, a comfy rug students can sit at, and plant accents throughout the room.
You can even create a faux tree in a corner of your room to give that ‘outdoor’ vibe.
This was my friend’s classroom a few years ago! I loved the cactus tree in her classroom library. @CraftingonSunshine
4. Wait to Add Anchor Charts to Your Walls
This is one thing that I didn’t realize when I started teaching. I wanted to have posters and anchor charts that related to the content hung up for my students. Later on, I realized how much more beneficial it was for my students when I waited to hang anchor charts after teaching the information to them.
The purpose of anchor charts is to support students with their current learning. By having them displayed on the first day of school, I was taking away their value. The anchor charts were just blending in with our other decor. It’s OKAY to start off the school year with empty bulletin boards.
What can I Decorate my Classroom with?
Printable Classroom Decor Packs on TPT
Have you ever looked for printable decor packs on TPT? These are the best because…
1) They’re easy to prep at home. I recommend getting a personal laminator to make this even easier. This one is my favorite.
2) You’re supporting other teachers like you with your purchase! (You also earn credits for your TPT purchases to put toward future purchases.)
3) You’ll find unique pieces you can’t find at stores. Most classroom decor packs include over 1,000+ pages of resources!
Borders & Bulletin Board Paper from Amazon
Amazon seriously has everything. If you’re in search of borders and paper for this year’s bulletin boards, look on Amazon! The prices are great and they have a variety of resources.
Astrobright paper is great because it’s an easy way to add a pop of color to your displays without spending much money. Use it to frame student work or create bright letters, among other things. You can save colored ink by printing with black ink on colored paper!
Bins & Baskets for your Classroom
The best classroom is an organized one. Consider getting bins to keep your library and supplies neat and orderly. You can get colorful bins or baskets to match your classroom theme. Print off colorful labels to help students know where supplies are located. Bins are a great way to disguise clutter and give your classroom a cohesive look.
>>Have the decorating down, but need help determining what classroom essentials you need as a first-year teacher? Check out my blog post here to determine the best tools for your classroom.
Types of Classroom Decorations
With so many types of classroom decorations out there, sometimes it’s important to consider the overall mood that you’re going for. I personally always wanted a bright, colorful room for my students to learn in, but there are other learning environments such as neutral and boho that may be a better fit for you. You have to choose what mood works best for your classroom!
Calming Classroom Décor
If you’re looking for a clean and cohesive look, pastel or neutral colors with plant accents may be just for you. I designed this farmhouse inspired classroom decor pack to create a calming atmosphere for your students. It includes plant, rustic wood patterns, and lemon accents.
Plants & Lemon Theme Classroom Decor
Whether you love plants or just want to add a calming vibe to your classroom decor, this plant & lemon themed set is just what you need to grow your classroom appeal.
Colorful Classroom Décor
When you think of your ideal classroom do you picture bright colors? If so, my colorful travel and tropical themed resources are what you’re looking for! With pops of colors, they make your space vivid and exciting for students.
Fruity & Tropical Theme Classroom Decor
The perfect colorful classroom theme to turn your classroom into a tropical and fruity oasis!
Colorful Travel Theme Classroom Decor
Experiencing Wanderlust? Let this colorful travel themed decor show off all of the places you’d love to go!
Neutral Classroom Decor
Neutral earthy tones are fun because you can add a simple theme such as boho rainbows or jungle safari to give them a little more personality. I love how these sets aren’t flashy, but still make your classroom look cozy and inviting for your students.
Jungle Theme Classroom Decor
Turn your classroom into a modern jungle-themed safari. With neutral colors, this is perfect for all classrooms.
Boho Rainbow Theme Classroom Decor
This Boho rainbow decor adds just enough color to your classroom to keep it fun, while also keeping it neutral. I’m in love with these rainbows!
Themed Classroom Décor
We’re always looking for ways to connect with our students. These classroom decor packs center around two things that students tend to love: unicorns and dogs. Mix your decor up a little by making it more student-interest-focused.
Groovy Classroom Decor
Bring disco balls, roller skates, and retro vibes into your classroom with this colorful groovy garden theme!
Unicorn Theme Classroom Decor
This theme is so fun! With rainbow colors and adorable unicorns, it gives your room a little extra magic.
Dog Theme Classroom Decor
Who doesn’t love dogs? If you’re a dog lover, these cute dogs are the perfect addition to your classroom decor.
What Should Every Classroom Have?
Organized Supply Stations
Supply stations help keep your supplies organized and your classroom decluttered. Have a dedicated bucket or drawer for scissors, pencils, glue, crayons, etc. I recommend labeling each bin so students know where to find supplies and return them when they’re finished.
Word Walls or Sound Walls
Word Walls are a great reference tool for students to use when they’re writing. They help students with spelling, sight word practice, and reviewing vocabulary. Add one to your wall to support students and keep track of the many words your students will learn this year. It also serves as a great tool to enrich vocabulary when students are writing independently. Sound walls are great for lower elementary students.
Within your classroom, it’s important to have a teacher corner where you house your important documents and personal mementos. Make a dedicated space to store your teacher supplies, papers, and little things that make your classroom a home away from home.
Even if it’s small, a classroom library is a space where your students can interact with meaningful books and practice reading independently. Consider adding some bean bags to make a little reading station for students within your reading area.
Labeled bins for copies, turning in work, and blank paper keeps your countertops neat and organized. It also helps you know which papers need to be graded, copied, or returned to students at the end of the day.
Bulletin Board for Student Work
Your classroom is a place where students feel as though they are part of a community. It is their home away from home. Seeing their hard work displayed on the walls makes them feel included and important. Make sure to designate a space for student work somewhere in your room before starting the school year. You can hang up ‘Work Coming Soon’ posters if you don’t want to leave that space empty during the first days of school.
I hope this post gives you ideas on how to pick out classroom decorations for the upcoming school year. However you decorate, I know that your students will feel loved and welcomed in their space.