Kindergarten classrooms are full of busy little hands with short attention spans. All of the pieces and parts that go into teaching these growing minds can make a big mess in a short time. Organization is necessary for any classroom and a lot of the principles can apply to any grade level. But with kindergartners, good organization is the difference between a functional classroom and chaos.
Pick a Theme for a Cohesive Look
Visual clutter is created when too many colors or patterns compete for attention at the same time. Half of the fun of being a teacher is decorating the classroom, but filling a room full of mix-matched patterns and colors can have the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of creating a cute environment for kids to learn in, a poorly coordinated classroom can be overstimulating and chaotic and detract from real learning.
Inspire creativity with a brightly colored rainbow theme
Bright colors are stimulating and can elevate moods, add energy, and keep students focused on learning activities. But it is very easy to overdo it with a lot of colors. Strategic uses of color broken up with neutrals like white walls and solid black bulletin backgrounds are the way to go. Color is fun, but adding too much color will overwhelm the senses and be more distracting than beneficial.
Good tips for using a rainbow theme in the classroom:
- Stick to solid color walls and decorate sparingly with intentionally chosen pieces.
- Use solid colors for bulletin boards and add color with coordinating trim.
- Arrange alphabet letters in color gradients like a rainbow of colors.
- Use color psychology to create different learning zones. Yellow and orange in lesson spaces to promote positivity and focus. Blues and greens in quiet spaces to create a calming environment.
- Repeat patterns in different areas to maintain a cohesive look.
Inspire future bookworms with storybook themes
Dr. Suess, Hungry Caterpillar, and A to Z storybooks are all well-recognized children's storybooks with dozens of theme ideas for the classroom.
Take a cue from nature with a play, learn, and grow tree theme
If you are opposed to big and bright colors or you have children with special sensory needs in the classroom a more natural theme with trees, plants, sun, and sky,
Organize Learning by Stations
Kindergarten classrooms need to fit a variety of needs. Group learning, one-on-one, reading, writing, counting, arts and crafts, and story time are just some of the different types of activities that occur in one classroom. By using different learning stations, you can tailor the environment for each type of learning activity.
Color-coded Supply Bins
Use divided totes with handles to store arts and crafts supplies for each table. Scissors, glue, and crayons can all be shared in small groups this way, Whenever possible, buy large size supplies to accommodate little hands. Label each table with a number and label each supply tote with a corresponding number.
Create a Chill Out Space
In the world of little kids, sometimes everything just becomes too much. One effective way to manage classroom behavior in little kids is to provide a calm and relaxing space to escape the stimulation. Blues and greens are calming colors. Brown can also be good for relaxation. Provide a rug and comfortable seating like bean bag chairs. And a lamp for a softer light that feels more like home.
Create a space where teachers or aides can work with a small group of students on phonics or math skills. U-shaped tables where the students sit on one side and the teacher on the other are perfect for this activity. Solid color dry erase mats are also perfect for each student seat. Oracal 651 adhesive sign vinyl is perfect for creating these mats. It is adhesive so it will stick to the tabletops, yet it is removable without damage. It is available in a variety of colors and can be cut to any size or shape.
Comfortable and Well-lit Story Area
Block off an area of the classroom using bookshelves or cube organizers and an area rug. This will define the space and provide storage for reading materials. It will also make it comfortable. Provide extra lighting with lamps to keep the area well-lit for reading. You can also double down on this space by making it a literacy station to work in small groups as well.
Create Useful Organization
The best tools in the classroom are the ones that are both decorative and useful. Think pretty bins that match a theme, but also hold essential supplies.
Make bulletin boards pull double duty
Instead of decorating with something just for fun, use one bulletin board to create a colorful calendar center. Each day, make a small classroom activity out of identifying what day it is and marking it off on the calendar.
The COMPONO 30 Pocket Chart with Vinyl windows works well for this.
Create a lost and found
Decorate a bin or bucket to match your classroom theme and put a fun label on it for a lost and found. This could be where small game pieces and magnetic letters that are separated from their containers will go until they are reunited. Or, it could be a lost and found for student belongings. You may want to create both!
Keep Construction Paper in a File Drawer
Colorful construction paper is used all of the time in classroom projects. It is also typically the common 8.5x11 notebook size sheets. An empty file drawer is the perfect home to store construction paper organized by color.
Use Command Hooks to Hang Headphones
Command hooks are pretty sturdy and removable without damage to the surface. They are also perfect for lining up several hooks on a wall and hanging student's headphones on them. Use color-coded labels to keep names on the headphones and hooks so they can be easily matched up.
The key to organizing all of the activities going on in a kindergarten classroom is to have a system. Design the classroom to have different learning stations where students can work independently, in small groups, or as a class. Coordinate all classroom decor with a common theme. And, employ practical organizational hacks wherever possible. Employing these steps to an organized classroom will save your sanity throughout the school year.
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