classroom decor,  classroom environment

Classroom Decor

I have honestly gone back and forth on whether or not to publish this post, because I know teachers who feel very strongly about both sides of the issue, but I decided to go for it.  My thoughts on the classroom decor debate shouldn’t be a surprise to those of you who have followed Preschool Ponderings for a while. It’s no secret that I am a huge advocate for the Reggio Emilia approach, and my own personal opinions about classroom decor are closely aligned with Reggio teachings about the environment. But as you read this please remember that my opinions are just that – my own personal opinions.  This is what has worked well for my classroom and my personal style. I completely respect experiences to the contrary.

Whew, now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, can I just say that my facebook and instagram feeds have been full of adorable classrooms over the past couple of weeks. I look at these beautiful rooms and I’m pretty sure that they are more impressively decorated than my home, some of them are truly works of art that Have probably been a long term investment.

At the same time, I’ve seen a few articles about Bare Walls Theory (like this one) floating around cyberspace too.  I can’t say that I agree with that argument entirely either.  I think that the idea of no decorations or displays feels a little cold and institutional.

I tend to fall right down the middle – you know I’m a huge fan of neutral tones and natural colors. I also firmly believe that classroom displays should celebrate and draw attention to the work that the children are currently doing. This doesn’t mean that I think a classroom has to be boring.

I think that it is entirely possible to choose colors that encourage calm and still make the room a beautiful place to be. I just advocate for using subtle colors in accents that don’t draw attention away from student work. Pillows, rugs, framed artwork created by students, even curtains, are the perfect ways to introduce color.

It’s really easy for the room to look cluttered when you start displaying student work, so I’m a huge fan of rotating displays. Once something is more than a couple of weeks old, take it down – send it home or put it in a portfolio. This always helped me make sure that only the most recent, relevant work was given precious wall space.

This article from NAEYC’s Young Children says how I feel much more eloquently! If you’ve found yourself pondering this argument it’s definitely worth the read.  Make sure to come back and check out the blog tomorrow because I’m going to share the classrooms that have been my inspiration lately!

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