Fresh Ideas for Fall Classroom Decorations
What things come to your mind when you think about fall? Your answer may be purchasing school supplies, raking leaves, harvesting pumpkins, and a myriad of other ideas.
Now that back to school time is upon us, our thoughts turn towards our fall classroom decorations.
Even a small room can benefit from colorful, seasonal decorations. Bulletin boards, walls, and doors create an inviting atmosphere for learning when adorned with colors and articles of the season. Fall decorations for the classroom are inexpensive and easy to locate, and seasonal decorations make a huge impact on the learning atmosphere of a classroom.
When I was in school, one teacher kept the same decorations up for the entire year. I secretly hoped that she would change the bulletin board at least a couple of times because I dreaded going to class and seeing the same bulletin board every single day. As you know from your own home, a room that is cozy and comfortable is more inviting than a sterile, plain environment.
Bulletin board decorations can add interest with colorful backgrounds and textures. Fabric can be stapled to the bulletin board as a background instead of bulletin board paper. Since the fabric will not tear easily, it can be reused many times. Look around your house or local thrift store for items that you can attach to the board. For instance, a small, old basket or bucket can be hung on a nail attached to your bulletin board. If the basket is larger, cut away ½ of the basket and fasten the basket to the board as if the basket was completely whole. Students can add lightweight objects or paper items to the baskets as they are involved in a classroom game or competition. These are all easy solutions for a start for your fall classroom decorations.
Another item that can be attached to a bulletin board is a tree branch. The tree branch can be decorated with silk leaves, plastic spiders and toy bugs which can all be purchased from a store that sells items for one dollar. Closer to Halloween that branch can be draped with fake spider webs and black paper bats or decorated with colorful lights and paper lanterns.
In addition to these ideas for the bulletin board, items from home and from the outdoors can be brought into your classroom to add a splash of color and a spark for the imagination.
Consider bringing the great outdoors into a corner of your classroom.
• Bring in a couple of hay bales and a scarecrow.
• If you have a tree, whether it be a real branch or a bulletin board tree decoration, for your bulletin board, place that tree on the board or wall near the hay bales so that the leaves appear to be falling from the tree and landing around the hay bales.
• Add a few pumpkins and some corn stalks and your students will enjoy the attractive scenery while studying in class.
• If your school students are required to wear uniforms, consider dressing the scarecrow in a school shirt, hat or sweater. As a way of intertwining school spirit with the season, place a school banner, flag, or pompom in the scarecrow’s hand.
If hay bales and scarecrows are not attractive to you as a decoration, the produce stand or grocery store can provide apples, pumpkins, squash, cranberries, and grapes which are colorful when placed in a basket on a table or on the teacher’s desk. These food items remind your students of the value of healthy eating, create ideas for an oral or written assignment, and bring the season directly into your classroom without taking up a lot of space.
Don’t forget to decorate your door for the fall season.
Have your students bring in old magazines or material scraps to make a collage of different pictures and materials that remind them of fall. Pieces of colorful denim, corduroy, wool, old tee-shirts, and plaid flannel can be inner-mixed with hand drawn or magazine pictures of seasonal activities including bike riding, hiking, and football. These colorful items will allow each student to be involved in a small way; yet, as your students come to class each day, they will recognize their importance as a valued member of the classroom.
Another idea for a door decoration is a chalkboard or a whiteboard. Students can take turns designing the board each week or the teacher can write special messages on the chalkboard for the students.
What impact do these decorating ideas have on learning? We all know that students learn better when they are not stressed, uncomfortable, or distracted. Spending a little time and money to make our classroom inviting, colorful, and comfortable may result in higher grades and encourage students to attend class. While your classroom does not need too many decorations that will distract from learning, the classroom should be an inviting place that encourages learning.