Setting up a classroom takes more than putting desks into neat rows and hanging posters on the wall. Classrooms are meant to be a safe place for students to come together to create, engage, and learn, but many teachers are put in the position to build this space with no funds and no supplies. Many teachers apply for grants and scholarships from places like donorschoose.org and teachforamerica.org to help with fundraising and fresh ideas, especially in impoverished and low-income communities. Still, there are other ways to update your class without spending a lot of money. Here are three budget-friendly ways to refresh your classroom’s look.
Fabric is Not Just for Sewing
Imagine painting your wall blue without ever lifting a brush or having a ceiling-to-floor mural that matches your theme of the month. Add some hot glue and a steady hand, and fabrics can make this happen! Fabrics come in many colors, styles, and designs and are fair low priced when you find a sale. Using affordable fabric as curtains, table runners, and wallpaper can transform your classroom without having to spend an excessive amount of money. Many people and businesses will give away fabric scrapes and rolls that they no longer need. Using a pop of color or a new design in the class can go a long way towards creativity and engagement. Invest in some teacher t shirts, and make it a fun new school year!
Build Your Own Reading Nook
Use the furniture you already have and make a reading nook to give students a fun place to enjoy a good book. Bookcases can be moved away from walls and turned inwards to give your nook a sense of privacy but still allows for adult supervision. Shop local thrift stores, ask your friend for donations and add a few extras to this area. Amenities can include lighting, rugs, pillows, flexible seating, or audiobooks and headphones. Old book covers can be used as decorations, and you can display book recommendations on tables.
YOu can find affordable books at yard sales, thrift stores, Goodwill, and your local library. Many libraries have yearly book sales where they sell some of their books for cheap, and at the end o the sale, if you ask, they will give you any books that are not sold. Stocking your book nook can be easy and fun, and cheap if you use your local resources.
Wall Stickers, Duct Tape, and Other Crafts and Crates
You can transform any room at a low cost with the help of a Dollar Store. Finding fun wall stickers can give your class a quick pick-me-up and bring a smile to your students’ faces. Consider colorful duct tape on boards, binders, and books to provide new designs to old models. Turn crates and baskets into art areas, pencil holders, and desk cubbies with little to no effort.
Refreshing a classroom without busting the bank is not always easy, but you will find that teachers are very resourceful and imaginative when they think outside the box. Finding the right look for your class can be as easy as finding the right fabric, building a personal learning area, or visiting your local dollar and thrift stores, and if there is a will, there is a way.