Welcome to part five of the Smarter Spaces 'How to' series, bringing you a range of top tips on how you can make simple additions to your learning environment, which can make a huge difference to your learners. In this fifth guide, teacher and blogger Lois Wood shares her top tips on how you can spruce up your classroom in nine easy steps.
Don't be boring with your border
A funky border goes a long way and is a quick and easy way to spruce up your classroom. From leaves and glitter to googley eyes and cobwebs, there are loads of things you can add, just make sure they reflect your display board theme!
A lovely label can make your classroom look organised and give it a really polished look. Try and keep the labels the same for the whole room to ensure consistency.
Feast for the senses
Classrooms are environments of inspiration for learners and scented wax melts or plug-ins can really help change the mood. Whether you want to help wake your learners up as soon as they walk through the door or create an oasis of calm the use of scents can have a huge impact!
Cushions and blankets
Sometimes there's nothing better than snuggling up with a good book so create the same feeling for your learners. You can buy inexpensive cushions, bean bags and blankets from a range of stores to create a space where learners can enjoy reading.
Traditional pencil pots and 'caddies' can often look tired and unloved which doesn't give the best impression to your learners. A lovely pot or bucket to store pens and other stationery will help encourage more responsibility and care from your learners than tatty pots that have around for years!
Lettering and fonts
If you have a theme for your topic or classroom more generally, make sure you have lettering that matches. Use DaFont to download hundreds of fonts for free!
Covers for the tables that your learners don't use every day can be a great way to spruce up your classroom. Writeable boards can be brilliant table top covers and can really help encourage engagement. You can sellotape these on to stop them from moving around and whilst they may seem like an expense at first, they can be used time and time again!
Box files and baskets
Box files and baskets are an easy way to organise resources. Ikea have a brilliant selection of inexpensive box files and the Range have a huge range of affordable baskets for different jobs.
Ivy, yes that's right
Ivy is every teacher's best friend because it has so many uses. From using it around pillars or structural parts of the building and classroom display boards to building your very own tree! It can be bought online and can be used year after year - Iâm on my fifth year!
Lois Wood is a primary school teacher at the Forest Academy in Barnsley. She shares her love of classroom displays through her blog Teacher Traumas and is on Twitter.