Creating an Inviting Classroom

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I know.  I know.  I have been absent for a while.  This past year was bit of a trying year with a new administrator, school accreditation visits, and let’s be honest – motherhood of an 11, 9, and 3 yr old.  This year my first priority was about meeting the needs of my family and then my students…so blog, you were last place on the list of priorities. So, sorry!  BUT we can be friends again!  The great thing about summer is that teachers actually have time to THINK, PLAN, and RELAX.  Oh, we also get to use the bathroom when we want to…unless we have a toddler stalking us.  Anyway, one of my favorite things to do is write on vacation, so here I am…

Today’s blog is about creating an inviting classroom environment!  This is the time of year that teachers are thinking about changing things up, and change can be exciting!  It can also be rewarding when educators reflect upon how to make the classroom environment more inviting and welcoming for their students.  Think about it..imagine being invited over to a stranger’s home for dinner.  It’s a stranger’s home, because on the first day of school, you are a stranger to your students.  Now, imagine if this stranger’s home was dark and foreboding.  You couldn’t find utensils to eat with, and the plates were dirty.  Let’s not even talk about the look you get when you eat with your elbows on the table.  Yikes…..would you want to go back for dinner?  Well, children feel the same way about their classroom.  Yes, it’s their classroom, too!  They want to spend time in a safe, organized, and comfortable classroom.  Now, this OCD gal is not saying that your classroom should be neat and tidy all the time, because kids make messes.  Messes can be fun, and they are usually a sign that your students are participating in meaninful, student-centered learning.  However, our goal should be to have a classroom that kids want to stay in all the time!  Now, I know your classroom environment is not the main reason why your students keeps coming back, year after year, to visit.  It’s because of YOU.  However, YOU are the one who makes the classroom inviting for your students in the first place.

Here are some things to consider when creating your inviting classroom environment this summer:

1.  Do you have a classroom theme?  It’s not necessary, but it makes things easier when decorating your classroom.  Plus, who doesn’t love a classroom that makes a good, first impression?  Plus, themes are fun!  My own classroom theme is “The Class of United Nations,” but there are also so many other neat themes you can check out on Pinterest.  Check out my favorite sites for classroom theme ideas:

 

 

2.  Are you considering flexible seating this year?  Flexible seating involves giving your students a choice on how to sit in the classroom.  Students can use floor pillows, carpet squares, wobble chairs, scoop rockers, etc.  I found a GREAT post listing different kinds of seating at:

3.  Does your classroom management system promote positive reinforcement?  Trust me, I am a parent.  I believe that there are consequences for your actions.  However, take the time to read a post at:

There are other important components of an inviting classroom, but let’s start there for now.  Trust me…I’m not an expert.  I will never be one, because I am always changing and growing.  Teachers really get their best ideas from each other.  So, if you have any other fabulous ideas on how to create an inviting classroom environment, please respond to this post and share!