All about South Korea => Life in Korea => Topic started by: Justletmesleep on June 03, 2021, 03:16:45 pm

Title: decorating a classroom
Post by: Justletmesleep on June 03, 2021, 03:16:45 pm
Sorry, there might be a form already somewhere for this topic but I'm horrible with finding things and didn't come across anything.

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for decorating a classroom? I feel like my classroom is really boring as there are only the English  posters from the school hanging up. I've been wanting  to do something, so the walls aren't so bare, but I have no idea what to do. This is my first semester teaching and I teach elementary 3-6 graders.

I was thinking I could possibly do like a random word wall that students can add words that aren't commonly known or have found out about and add it to a board or have it like a tree with apples or leaves. Idk if that would work or even if it would make sense. I just don't want to have the kids stuck in such a boring room.

Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
(And sorry if i posted in the wrong forum!)
Title: Re: decorating a classroom
Post by: Kyndo on June 04, 2021, 01:56:14 pm
A lot of this really depends on how much money you're willing to spend, or whether or not your school has an English budget available for you to spend.

Some things I've done that I think have worked out nicely are:

- Buy packs of multi coloured construction paper and put them up on the walls in ROYGBIV order to hide old/dirty walls.

- Bought a pack of large cherry blossom cutouts (or something similar) and stick them to white-board and window sills to hide ratty/dirty ledges.

- Buy 2,500 won laminated English posters (numbers/alphabet/fruits/vegetables/maps/transportation/animals) and hang them up everywhere. I've seen them in E-marts, Dreammarts, and Homepluses).

- Buy cheap Christmas and halloween decorations from Daiso, and forget to ever take them down.

- Have designated wall space for student work (for their art, for the fashion show pics, for their goodbye cards etc)

-Lots and lots of house plants (pothos are virtually indestructible and look nice in the classroom when their vines can be draped or pinned over stuff. Spider plants are also very resilient)

- Depending on how brave you are, a class fish tank can be a nice touch. I had one for two or three years before my schools got switched around so that I'm at a different one every day. Guppies and a few tetras.

Honestly, these last few years my decoration game has been a bit slap dash because I'm at a different school each day, and because in some of those schools, I go to the students' room rather than have them come to mine. Still, even adding a few random decorations can really make a huge difference between just another classroom and THE ENGLISH ROOM (dundun dunnnnn).  :smiley:
Title: Re: decorating a classroom
Post by: Aristocrat on June 04, 2021, 02:18:14 pm
Student's artwork is the best decoration, period.

If you need an alphabet chart, get your 3rd graders to make it (give each student a letter to colour in) and stick it above the whiteboard or something.

I finally got some picture dictionaries (crazy that most English classes don't have dictionaries) and told the 4th graders to pick a random English noun from the dictionary (it's a simple noun based dictionary) and design a superhero:

- wind woman
- box man
- lid man
- tullip woman
- motorcycle man

I pasted the designs up and the wall looked like the select screen from a Megaman game, the students loved it.
They get very motivated and proud when they can see their work, see the work of students from other classes and when other students commend their work.

Whether it's artwork, words or crafts, you student's should be making it.

- Depending on how brave you are, a class fish tank can be a nice touch. I had one for two or three years before my schools got switched around so that I'm at a different one every day. Guppies and a few tetras.

From someone who is deep in the aquarium hobby, DO NOT do this!

Guppies and tetras are NOT "Put them in a tank and leave them kind of fish." Honestly, no fish is.
Guppies and tetras require particular and stable water parameters, which includes but isn't limited to heating, filtration, water changes, proper diet and they'll breed like crazy, rapidly overpopulating an aquarium and spiking ammonia levels.

Yes, they can "live" or survive for a while, but they wont thrive. It's the same as saying a man is able to live locked inside a toilet his entire life; it's possible, but he, like the fish, will live a miserable existence.
Title: Re: decorating a classroom
Post by: Kyndo on June 04, 2021, 02:35:17 pm
Student artwork is great, yep.

Not to derail, but if it's a classroom that you're at 5 days a week, maintaining a tank isn't much of an issue if you have a bit of experience.
Just have the appropriate filters etc, keep it well away from the windows, and do regular water changes. A nice big, understocked tank is usually pretty stable, especially if you fill it with plants.
Mine were fine for years with very few casualties. When my school situation changed, I just took them home, put 'em in a hospital tank for a bit, then added them to my home aquarium.
And despite my best efforts, I haven't had any luck getting my tetras to breed.  :sad:

Anyway, like I said (and Aristocrat pointedly emphasized), it's something to consider only if you've got experience with em. Honestly, same might be true for the plants.

Also wanted to add:

- Depending on your classroom layout, window art might be something to look into: I've never done it, but I've heard of teachers here having kids paint murals and such on the windows (with washable paints, I assume?).

- World flags (gives the English room a more multi-cultural feel to it)

- Origami animals from the ceiling

- A small English "library" (mine is a single bookshelf filled mostly with English comic books lol)

- a small reading area, depending on whether you're ok with kids coming to your English class during break time / lunch etc