Updated: Oct 3, 2020
I have to admit classroom decor was never my thing until a few years ago. It wasn’t until recently that I started to see how classroom decor could also help me organize my classroom. Yes, you can organize your classroom without having a specific theme but once I started thinking of classroom decor as a way to organize I really got into it a lot more. One area I always struggled with was keeping my classroom organized. I always knew where things were and I could find things with no problem but if you walked in the room it didn’t appear to be very organized. I also struggled with students not being organized. Well that’s because I was the model and I was not very good at it myself. I didn’t know how to teach them how to organize themselves. So after some reflection I decided that I needed to focus on classroom organization for me and for my students. This was a game changer in my classroom.
This happened to be the same year my school had a school wide theme and every classroom had to be decorated to match the school theme. Well, saying I had never been into having a theme for my classroom I really had to see how I could incorporate my decor into my focus of organization. I ended up having a blast decorating my room and making sure that my decor included as many organization techniques as I could. And each year since, I’ve either tweaked my decor or changed the theme altogether but added more and more ways to organize my classroom. My classroom theme and organization makes my classroom very inviting and helps keep everything clean and organized throughout the year. The benefit of this is more than the appearance. The productivity of the students and myself is evident. No more students losing work that they have been working on or taking time to find things because everything is now at my fingertips labeled and ready to go.
One key to getting my classroom organized was labels for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! I bought drawers, storage bins, racks, file sorters, baskets, and anything I could think of to help keep me organized. Each set of student desks had a three drawer organizer and each drawer was labeled. Remember to label EVERYTHING. They had certain things that they could store in each drawer. I didn’t have cubby areas but I created some “cubbies” along a counter and that is where the kids were allowed to store their textbooks. There was a place for everything but each place had specific items that were allowed to be stored there. For example their desks could only have paper and folders and possibly a small school box if they could keep it clean and neat. And guess what? Each folder had a cover to make sure they stayed organized! Each set of desks had a caddy with school supplies in it that they had to keep organized. I even took a picture of how the caddy should be organized at the end of each day. My students could always make sure they matched the picture if they forgot how it should look. To make sure
that these areas stayed organized I drew diagrams of what each area should look like. Some students are visual so if a student was struggling to keep an area how I expected it, they could just look up at the diagram or the picture example that I had and make sure that their area matched. This was the first year EVER that I didn’t have students’ desks where papers, books, and pencils were falling out ALL day long.
Then for myself, I labeled all of my drawers, binders, and organizers. I made sure I had a place for everything as well. Not only did I want to model for the students, I wanted to make sure that it was easy for me to put things in specific places so I would know exactly where they were so I could pull them out in an instant and get to work. Such a timesaver and I loved that I used my classroom themed decor and organized labels for everything. I also put student numbers on everything that belonged to them. I also used table numbers for easy organization. I posted class lists, schedules, rotations and everything up on the wall so everyone would be aware of how the classroom ran and I had fun making it match my decor.
Now you might be wondering why I’m talking about organizing my classroom when I’m also talking about classroom decor. Well, I have found since I started coaching a lot of teachers love creating a theme in their classroom and decorating it. They create what I call IG classrooms or Pinterest classrooms that are absolutely adorable but I also have seen in many of those situations that they lack organization. This reminds me of my school days before I got my classroom organized. So this year when you are decorating your classroom make sure that you keep organization your top priority if this is an area you struggle with. As you get organized and have it match your classroom theme you’re going to see so many positive changes. You will create a great learning environment for your students and for yourself.
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I am always happy to make custom decor if you have an idea but no time to do it! You can also email me if you like some of my decor but the set doesn't have what you are looking for. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinterest Boards for Classroom Themes and Organization: