Make Your Classroom Inviting Like a Guest Room

Assemble little welcome bags full of donated or inexpensive school supplies like pencils and packs of paper.

Assemble little welcome bags full of donated or inexpensive school supplies such as pencils and packs of paper.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Like most educators, I’m always on the lookout for ideas that I can use or adapt for school.

A set of adaptable home decor tips caught my attention recently…

tips on creating an inviting guest room…

adaptable tips to help teachers make classrooms inviting, too.

Every teacher has her/his tricks for decorating teaching and learning spaces.

Most teachers I know already put “a ton” of effort into setting up classrooms at the start of a school year, often using their own funds.

Tips that feature fun and inexpensive – or better still – FREE ways to make your classroom inviting, like a guest room, are most welcome.

Assemble Welcome Bags – Welcome bags or baskets, staples at special events such as weddings, often serve to welcome guests to a home.

Consider greeting students with little welcome bags full of donated or inexpensive school supplies such as pencils, erasers and packs of paper.

Children will be delighted at this attention-getting way to make your classroom feel inviting.

Add Special Additions To A Bookshelf – In addition to changing up the books that you feature on a classroom bookshelf during a season like fall,

Tuck the little scarecrow into a fall or Halloween arrangement using dollar store supplies.

Tuck a little scarecrow into a fall arrangement as a special addition to a classroom bookshelf.

catch your students’ attention by asking them to keep eyes open for special additions to the bookshelf.

Slip a small scarecrow, for example, into a flower arrangement (you can make a fall arrangement with inexpensive supplies).

Place the arrangement on a bookshelf. Challenge children to discover the scarecrow.

This inviting trick teaches kids to be observant.

Surprise! Surprise! Make your classroom inviting like a guest room with fun surprises.

Create or buy a seasonal frame for a poem that you post on a bulletin board in your classroom.

Falling leaves float by/Orange, red, yellow, green/Falling leaves in autumn/What a lovely scene!

Put a basket full of fall leaves (real or silk) at the foot of the bulletin board.

Surprise students with a poetry reading that includes a surprise toss of the leaves into the air. Invite kids to recite the poem aloud with you.

How else can you make your classroom inviting like a guest room?

Keep your desk fresh and fragrant with a flower arrangement or plant of any size. Greenery creates an inviting environment.

Keep Your Teacher’s Desk Fresh and Fragrant – Clear a spot on your desk.

Refuse to let papers stack up in that space.

Place a flower arrangement there, one you receive as a gift or one you make of any size.

What’s more fun than flowers for the teacher’s desk!

If flowers don’t suit you, add a fresh and fragrant plant.

Brighten Up with Color – Masterpiece paintings are “visual feasts.” Bring art into your classroom to

Georgia O’Keefe, A Sunflower from Maggie, 1937, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Stieglitz Collection-Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Photograph © 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Steiglitz Collection - Bequest of Georgia O'Keefe, C 2007, Photograph C, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Georgia O’Keefe, A Sunflower from Maggie, 1937, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Stieglitz Collection-Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Photograph © 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Steiglitz Collection – Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, C 2007, Photograph C, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

brighten up with color.

Find an easel to keep in your classroom.

One afternoon, after students leave for the day, set up the easel in a prominent place and display a print.

Select a print that appeals to you and opens up learning opportunities for your students.

You can use the title of the print to spark creative thinking.

For example, the sunflower in the painting above is “from Maggie.” “Who might Maggie be?” you ask, then, “why do you think that?”

Invite kids to write a story based on what they see in the painting.

Take the class on an age-appropriate virtual tour of the museum that has the painting you’re displaying in its collection.

Allow time for students to draw and color their own “fun flowers,” (a “take-off” on sunflowers) if the art work is of flowers.

Local Touches Make a Classroom Inviting – Students who are new to your community may want and need to learn more about the local area.

Help them become acquainted with the sights and “flavors” of your part of the world by adding some local touches to your classroom.

Local touches are a way to help welcome new students.

Change It Up! – Your classroom will be inviting like a guest room to students all year long if you take the time to keep teaching and learning spaces clear of too much clutter and current by changing them up.

Set a timetable that suits your schedule, the school calendar, and the seasons that seem to pass by so quickly.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students continue to use lackluster verbs in their writing.

Solution: Show toy cars and pretend to make them zip across a page, telling the class that good writing includes action words (verbs) that have "zip." Ask the class for examples of "zippy" verbs like zoom, race, flash, rush, etc.

Related Posts: Start Students' Engines for Writing