Jul 16

Decorating the classroom: Have I been doing it wrong?

I go back to school in two weeks! So right now, I’m in full gear up mode. (Seriously – you should see the length of my to do list!) One of the big things I have been working on is my classroom theme. I am trying to pull together a cohesive theme in both of my classrooms throughout the year that is inspiring but not distracting.

In my research, I read this post at Schoolgirl Style, and I realized I’ve been doing my bulletin boards wrong all this time! I have one long bulletin board in each classroom. I divide them into two or three different sections, and each section is trimmed in a different border with a different colored paper. I have learned that can make the room too busy and disjointed. From reading her post, it all makes sense (and her classroom looks amazing!).

Today, I took a trip to the teacher store. I wanted to find a main border that had a vintage feel to it. I also planned to get a coordinating bordette and a second border in a solid color. I am happy with what I came away with. I think it will really pull my everything together, and it should look good with my classroom theme.

Bulletin Board Set

The decorated border is a tan paisley with a blue strip at the top. The paisley is decorated which stars, so of course I really like it. I actually used this border on one of my boards last year. I then have a gold solid border for a few places that might need border doubling. There is also a brown bordette that I plan to use to frame the paisley border. Finally, I have chocolate brown letters for all of my titles.

The only thing I have not decided yet is what color of paper I will use. I may use two colors to differentiate between areas of my board I plan to divide. My decision on the color I use will be based on the colors of butcher paper available at school when we go back. (Although I have thought about getting one fancy paper for focal points.)

I am excited to see how this all looks once it is actually up on my bulletin boards. I imagine I’ll have a pretty good idea by next week since I plan to work on my classroom a lot next week.

Finally, I’ve been working on posters for my classroom. I have the set of posters from Kennedy Space Center that I have wanted for a long time and plan to get some of the vintage style solar system posters as well. (See this post for more information.) But I also decided I wanted to create a few posters of my own to really pull my theme together.

I am excited to share my Explore poster series. If you like the posters, you are welcome to use them. If you repost them somewhere online, I just ask that you provide a link back to my site (attribution). I am also working on some higher resolution versions that I will upload to my Flickr page by the end of the week that will be suitable for poster printing.

I am hoping my classroom looks much more cohesive this year in terms of the decorations on the walls. What are your thoughts on classroom decorating?







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  1. Tricia

    Cute! I’ve always loved fabric instead of paper because it seems to hold up better…especially if you take down and change things around often.

    1. Janelle

      Thanks! I probably should consider fabric. I tried it once, but I got fabrics that were a bit too thick. The nice thing about the butcher paper at school is that it’s free!

  2. The D?ring Librarian (@gwynethjones)

    Good heavens, Ms Wilson, these posters…They’re Beautiful!* Love ’em! I gotta get these for the Science! section of my Daring School Library! SWEET! *cheesy attempt at a Thomas Dolby homage!
    ~Gwyneth Jones
    The Daring Librarian

    1. Janelle

      Thank you! I’m glad you like them – please do use them in your library. That would be amazing!

  3. Denise Krebs

    Very beautiful, Janelle! You are inspiring! I’m looking at them thinking about how to make some life science ones too!

    Very nice!


    1. Janelle

      Thanks, Denise! I did a lot of Photoshop tutorial research before making these. I’ve just been using a free trial hoping I can get a full version through my district once school is back in session. This site: http://www.sxc.hu/ is really good for free, stock images.

  4. Denise Krebs

    Wow, thanks for the resources, Janelle. I have a folder for images on my Diigo account. I always appreciate new resources! Here’s to a full version of Photoshop for you.


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