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Grim classroom in need of cheap ideas to impress??

(43 Posts)
Jellypudmum Wed 30-Jul-14 21:46:58

I begin a longish term supply teaching contract in September and the classroom has nothing in it except the obligatory tables etc.
I'm hoping to create a reading/ quiet area and would love to add cheap seating / beanbags but don't want to spend too much as not sure specifically I'm going to be there. Want to make a good impression though as there is a chance a permanent job opening may be on the cards later in the year!
Any help or other cheap ideas to decorate an old and very grim classroom would be really gratefully received! smile

stargirl1701 Wed 30-Jul-14 21:52:44

IKEA is your friend! Try asking on your Facebook selling site for suitable items. Gum tree may be worth a look too. Talk to the big supermarkets - they may gift you stuff in return for a photo in the paper.

What age? I stopped 'decorating' my room 4 years ago and got the children really involved. They had even had to measure & cut backing paper and border. Ask parents to bring in old cushions etc. Find a crafty parent to recover.

I got a fab mural painted by an art student at the local college on my door.

joanofarchitrave Wed 30-Jul-14 21:59:07

What SENs will there be in this class? Is it worth thinking about how to make the classroom visually calmer for concentration, or perhaps easier for children with poor auditory processing, since you've got an opportunity like a classroom without too much in it?

I don't know very much about how to achieve this, but I bet there are publications about it?

LetsEscape Thu 31-Jul-14 08:04:11

I remember seeing a classroom with a colourful Material hanging in one corner and making a sort of tent around the reading area - it looked really great. Bean bags are great and don't have to be expensive. Find out about your recycling services near by...e.g. Freecycle.

Leeds2 Thu 31-Jul-14 15:55:43

Would second the suggestion of Ikea for bean bags and floor rugs. Also brightly coloured plastic crates for storage.

Some mobiles to hang from the ceiling.

Leeds2 Thu 31-Jul-14 15:56:50

If you email publishers, they will sometimes send you free posters advertising their books which look good on the wall.

stargirl1701 Thu 31-Jul-14 15:56:53

Check the alarm situation before hanging anything. We can't hang anything anymore as the movement sets of the burglar alarm.

calzone Thu 31-Jul-14 21:27:14

Cheap material....netting.....hanging from a hook, creating a sort of canopy can look good. We asked Waterstones for posters for the walls and hung Reading Corner on a washing line.

Lots of washing lines round the room with topic ideas to start with, then hang children's work on it.

A Maths Working Wall was good too as it changed every week, depending on what sort of Maths we are doing.


Beautifullymixed Thu 31-Jul-14 21:35:18

I hung paper pom poms from the ceiling last year which coordinated with gorgeous bunting.
I used the same colours on the display boards and double bordered the border edging.

I also covered grotty bookcases and edged them with borders and covered chairs. All with cheap fabric from the market.

I got baskets from the pound shop in matching colours as well and plants along the window ledges,again in matching colours.

Lastly, cushions. I found 3 for £10 in Asda that matched and covered the rest.

It looked gorgeous. smile

Look on here for utterly gorgeous

This year I'm loving the garden party theme for a ks1 class.

Have fun!

Beautifullymixed Thu 31-Jul-14 21:38:39

Also book covers printed and laminated, then hung with pretty ribbon from the ceiling or on the walls.

A net canopy is fabulous, I found a gorgeous orange one and entwined fairy lights from it.

The gasps from the children when they saw it......

Beautifullymixed Thu 31-Jul-14 21:40:08

Also fabric to cover the tops of units.
Just adds to the homely touch.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 31-Jul-14 21:43:14

I always had plants, as many as I could fit on the windowsills. Creates a nice feel and the children enjoy looking after them.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 31-Jul-14 21:44:36

Playing music is a very nice way to create a good feel, I used to have it playing as children come in first thing and sometimes later on if appropriate.

Beautifullymixed Thu 31-Jul-14 21:47:16

Regarding this helping you to get a permanent job-it may well do!

When I was volunteering at my school (am a TA) I jazzed up a couple of book corners, and did some lovely displays. I made my mark in so many places, that the headmistress was amazed.

I now have a permanent contract grin

She now sends all manner of people in the room to copy my ideas admire the classroom.


Jellypudmum Fri 01-Aug-14 01:39:20

These are all great ideas, so much to try!!!smile

Beautifullymixed Fri 01-Aug-14 10:51:09

Let us know how you get on Jelly

I found online party websites great for paper lanterns/paper fans and pom poms.
Also bunting, for looking like you have spent a lot but haven't. smile

Have fun!

Happy36 Sun 03-Aug-14 23:57:46

A washing line is nice. You can get some really beautiful pegs from craft shops (or even pound shops).

Good luck with your new classroom and role!

Happy36 Sun 03-Aug-14 23:59:40

e.g. these (pretty clothes pegs for a classroom washing line)

Happy36 Mon 04-Aug-14 00:02:18

Also a paper chain. Just need coloured paper, scissors, marker pen and a stapler.

I don´t know which age group you are teaching but you could put a tricky sight word on each link or a key spelling or vocabulary with the colour of the link indicating which part of speech it is, or vocabulary connected to a certain topic, (names of animals, foods, countries) or numbers, equations, etc.

Jellypudmum Mon 04-Aug-14 21:42:50

Had done the numbers on a chain and months of the year: forgot all about that!
Love those pegs too!smile

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Mon 04-Aug-14 22:48:45

I made Winnie the Word Witch - witch silhouette and large black cauldron. There was a curriculum based theme eg this week Winnie is collecting adjectives or connectives. We wrote them on laminated rectangles of paper and then stuck them up with blutack. The children could then take them off and use them in their work. They could also add their own.

Also did similar - Burglar Bill with huge sack on his back being a word thief - any time the kids came up with good words we added them to his bag. Looked really effective and was very easy.

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Mon 04-Aug-14 22:50:42

Another one - maths targets as branches of a tree and the kids faces on little monkeys that climbed up as they made progress. They loved that one.

thatsn0tmyname Mon 04-Aug-14 22:52:35

I made some really cheap bunting the other day using a £4 pack of coloured paper from Hobbycraft and 15 metres of bunting tape from a local wool shop. I ran it through the sewing machine and 45 mins later I had 15 metres for £7.45

Jellypudmum Mon 04-Aug-14 23:02:28

I am so excited to get started!!!blush

Happy36 Wed 06-Aug-14 10:24:55

Good luck, enjoy!

Our school operates a "just in time" policy i.e. classrooms still have wet paint on the morning before the kids return(!) and during our prep days the maintenance are still laying cables, replacing windows, and most of the classrooms are filled with junk (we have a summer school that ends the day before teachers come back) so we don´t get to decorate in advance. Personally I think it´s a bit sad but some of my colleagues are relieved that they don´t have the burden of creating an attractive classroom.

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