Thursday, August 20, 2009

20 Cheap Ways to Decorate Your Classroom

  1. Word Wall
  2. Weekly Contest
  3. College corner (featuring your alma mater)
  4. Examples of great work from your former students
  5. Artwork, pictures and notes from your former students
  6. Class job postings
  7. Subject-related news articles
  8. Subject-related career articles
  9. A PostSecret-style project - My students came up with something like this on their own last year. It started as a couple of post-it notes anonymously detailing their feeling on the wall behind my desk. By the end of the year, it was a tremendous piece of art!
  10. Challenging question of the week (something tied to your current unit)
  11. Student of the Week
  12. Puzzle, riddle or game of the week (pulled from any brain teaser book or website)
  13. Personal photo collage; something that reveals a bit about you
  14. Plants (or grow some from seeds!)
  15. Decorative lighting, a cool floor lamp, disco ball, etc--something that adds a little color and a different feel to the room when in use (Check the fire code first!!!)
  16. Service learning project information (i.e. Kiva)
  17. Paint a piece of old furniture--a table or bookcase you're allowed to paint--with chalkboard or whiteboard paint and start an ongoing art project
  18. Work together with students to create a mural, even if it's done on paper covering the wall (and not on the wall itself)
  19. Turn any picture into a huge block poster.
  20. Nothing at all - Tell your students that you've left the walls empty because together, you are going to fill them up with classwork, artwork and other stuff to make this a space they are proud of and comfortable in.
No matter what you decide, after school has started, you should "commission" as much student-made artwork as possible. This builds classroom culture and gets them invested; it becomes "our" room, not your room.