Classroom door decorations are a fun and creative way to enhance the learning in your classroom. Here are my best classroom-tested tips for keeping the focus on academics and fun.
The basic rules for decorating your classroom door:
About that last item: Whenever I can, I post the standard that the decorations relate to so that visitors know I am focused on learning and not just decorating for the sake of cuteness.
Sometimes we don't want extra stuff cluttering up the inside of our room, but it needs to be displayed. If you don't have a bulletin board in the hallway, the outside of your door is the perfect solution.
Here are a few idea generators from decorations I have done over the years.
Bonus points for matching your classroom decor!
I think this is a minimum for the first day of school...just something simple to welcome the kids. It's too easy to not do. And you can see how classroom themes can be extended from inside your room to outside.
Here's a super fun and engaging project. I decorated both the inside and the outside of my door with these motivational words. I provide full details on how to do this here.
It was pretty simple and my students absolutely loved it. It would make for an appropriate decoration on the first day of school, or during parent conferences.
It's fun to tie thematic classroom door decorations into a book read by the class or a completed academic unit.
Rudi's Pond by Eve Bunting
The Old Woman Who Named Things
by Cynthia Rylant
As you can see, these were major projects...not something to be done very often as it takes a lot of class time for the kids to plan and prepare them. We did these for a school-wide door decoration contest.
In this case, the book names and authors were incorporated into the artwork. If that's not the case, be sure to post that information (or the standard you are working on) nearby.
One winter, my students wanted to cut out snowflakes for our classroom door decorations. I kept saying, "What standard is that related to?" They persisted because the rest of the building had the tissue paper and glitter out.
I gave in and allowed them to earn the right to cut out one snowflake for each difficult multiplication problem they solved. (The problem had to be taped onto the snowflake.) The snowflakes went on the door to minimize classroom distraction...and I squeezed a little learning into a craft project.
Our state end-of-year test is called the Measure of Student Progress (MSP). So I went with a "Mighty Smart Pirates" theme one year. Lots of fun! My kids got pirate names and desk name plates as well.
Notice that one of the hall giants got a pirate hat. You can find instructions for creating the hall giants here. It's an estimating and measurement math project.
I've also done "Monkeys with Super Powers." Why do children love monkeys?! (Well...children and my husband!)
Doorways carry an emotional appeal for all people; they represent passages in life...moving from one thing to another. Use that concept to enhance your classroom community's learning environment in a fun and unique way.
Given their heightened focus on learning through projects, classroom decoration of doors is more common in the primary grades. But fancy doors have a definite place in grades four, five and six; teachers who don't pay some attention to their door are missing out on an opportunity for student motivation and the enhancement of learning.
I think of my classroom as a home, and the outside of my door should be a pleasing invitation just like the front door of my real house. In the eyes of children, that gives my room a certain amount of "curb appeal" before they even step foot inside.
Ideas for classroom door decorations are just a Pinterest search away!
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