Classroom Decor: How Much is Too Much?

Have you ever been to a lecture, class or a talk in a beautiful venue or building? There is something about looks and decor that make you think, sometimes distract, and/or judge.

Other times the looks and decor may enhance your experience and help you remember things better because the environment was so fitting.

This is the same for our students in the classroom. Whether we realize it or not, what is posted on the walls, hanging from the ceiling, and written on the boards makes a difference for student learning.

So how do you know when your classroom decor is too much?

Without a doubt, there is such a thing as TOO MUCH stimulation with classroom decor.

I’m sure you’ve seen studies that seem to prove a generalized conclusion that ‘classroom decor takes away from student learning.’

I think it is dangerous for us as teachers to take this blanket statement and run with it by leaving our classroom environment looking sterile and uninviting.

Classroom decor CAN create a positive learning environment AND build community.

The key is moderation… but how do we achieve that?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you organize and decorate your classroom:

  • Everything should have a purpose.  Don’t put anything on your walls or bulletin boards that you won’t actively refer to during your teaching.  Do fifth graders need posters with the color names on the walls?  Probably not.  Could they use a reference about the parts of fractions?  Maybe!
  • Blank space is okay.  In fact, blank space on your walls is a GOOD thing.  Include blank space in your plans.
  • Let your students help to create their learning environment.  Your classroom shouldn’t be completely decorated on day one of school – students should be able to add things to the walls to make it their own.  If a student is learning and creating and exhibiting their work in the classroom, they will feel more attached and connected in community to the classroom.
  • Everything needs a place.  It has been proven that students who have a clean and organized learning environment, they are more ready to learn.  There is nothing wrong with using some fun labels that will help you keep things in line and help your students know their way around the classroom.
  • Decorations are different than learning references.  Pom-poms, streamers, tassels, and fancy rugs have their time and place – ahem, moderation – but try to focus more on how you can streamline and present educational references for your students.  Would a number line assist them in math?  Will you refer to the number line while you teach?

Keeping in mind that classroom decor should be purposefully used in moderation, there is *nothing* wrong with wanting to create a warm and coordinated learning environment for your students (and you!) to spend your time in each day.

Here are a few classroom decor themes that I offer in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:

Building Block Classroom Decor | LEGO Inspired Confetti Classroom Decor Theme Farmhouse Classroom Decor Bundle Chalkboard Decor Bundle Editable Classroom Decor | Black and White Polka Dot Theme Shiplap Cactus Classroom Decor Theme Kid Created Classroom Decor Camping Theme Classroom Decor Bundle

Do you decorate your classroom?  I’d love to hear what you do, so leave a comment below!

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