Are you wanting to make adjustments to your classroom environment? Do you want to promote inclusivity and creativity in your room? Looking for a way to create a cohesive design and inviting space? Well, you have come to the right place! Today, I am going to talk about 5 ways that you can master your classroom environment and design!
Class Mission or Motto
A class mission or motto is a simple and effective way to create a sense of community in your classroom. Not only will your students share common goal, but it is also a great way to establish values and expectations. A class mission does not have to be a long-winded, specific mission statement. This can be as simple as one-word or a sentence. It is whatever is most important to you.
Think about what your goals are as a teacher. What is it that you want your students to take away from your class (besides content)? Is it a priority that your students feel acceptance? Do you want your students to learn about kindness? Do you want your students to strive for excellence? It is up to you! This motto can even be an essential part of your theme or design. Create this motto and display it in your classroom. Refer to it often. Incorporate it in your lessons. Live it!
Interactive Bulletin Boards
Do you use interactive bulletin boards? If not, its the time to start! I love interactive bulletin boards because they are intentional, require little upkeep and they can support your class year-round. Choose topics that are, like your motto, important to your classroom environment. What is a skill or core value that you want your students to be working on growing the entire year? Is is goal-setting? Growth-Mindset? Improving their creativity or writing? Expanding their reading? This tool is an excellent way to create structure and continuous practice
A well-planned classroom library can be one of your most powerful tools! You want to create a library with a variety of inclusive books. This is something that will stick with your students for a lifetime. Diversity and inclusivity should be major components of book selection. Students will be able to connect to characters or topics, building a foundation of trust and acceptance.
Your students can be involved in this process, too! Ask for input. Which books have impacted your students? Which books have a character that they related to? Have there been books that helped them learn about themselves or the world? Start a collection, a drive, a wish list!
Students strive when given some element of choice or control. It takes practice and some structure, but in the end, they will benefit from it greatly. Choice can be presented in your classroom in a variety of ways. It can be choice in homework, text selection, writing prompt, etc. (Many of these can be created through the interactive bulletin boards you have created). However, I love to see choice in learning environment. Students are all individual learners. Their strengths and interests will play into their motivation and learning state. So, I have always recommended flexible seating and flexible assignments.
Flexible seating is likely hard to do, right now with COVID. So, we can talk more about that later. However, flexible assignments can be easily implemented. This can look a simple as: offering your students choices in displays of learning. For example: when learning about specific content, students can choose to write an essay, produce a podcast, direct a video, write a song, create a piece of art, etc.
Classroom Design and Mood Board
This last tool is perfect if you are looking more for a fresh start than a refresh! This Classroom Design and Mood Board Planner will help you determine the type of classroom environment and design that fits you best!
If you’re like me, you need to have a vision or mood board before starting a project. It helps you stay focused on the task and intention. This is an editable planner that will help you design your classroom! Classroom décor is the least important component of this mood board template, though. The key pages in this document focus on classroom environment and atmosphere, and how to create a learning space that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for every student that enters your classroom!