We asked you how you make your classroom environment feel inviting and your suggestions were inspirational. Cozy, comfortable and inviting seemed to be the most important concept to our community. Shauna made the very valid point: "I want my room to make myself and students feel like home because of how much time we spend there".
While styles and recommendations varied, a cozy feeling remained top. So how can we create a cozy environment? Here are some of your recommendations:
Soft, cozy seating
Use carpets, soft seating and pillows to make a classrooms feel more like a home. Sharon mentioned "Soft and comfortable furnishings".
Display children's work
Whether it is a piece of art or a lego construction, displaying our learner's work helps them to realize we appreciate the effort they have put into their learning experience.
Using children's names
Karen labels "cubbies with the name of each student to hang their coats and backpacks". Adding names to cubbies, hooks or even learning spaces helps children feel part of their learning community.
The belief is the more children interact with natural materials the more they tend to be drawn to and appreciate our natural world. Therefore, for many educators, incorporating the natural world into our classrooms of a high priority.
Colours in the classrooms are very much a personal preference of the educator in the space. Some prefer natural and others prefer bright colours. At Quality Classrooms we recognize both have their place and try to meet the needs of each educator, just as you try to meet the needs of each child you work with.
All different book genres need to be in the classrooms to meet the preferences of our students. Displaying them in a reader-friendly way may make books more inviting. Just spines showing can be intimidating so a combination of display methods will appeal to more readers. Debra enjoys "putting up a big reading tree bulletin board in my library" to encourage book sharing while Cindy mentioned "a comfy corner for reading".
Photos of children
Displaying photos helps to ensure children feel they have an important place in the classroom. Including family photos can also help children feel more at home.
Alternative (or flexible) seating is here to stay as more educators recognize the importance of student choice and individualized learning. We now have many options available to give our students to best learning spot for them.
Pamela mentioned the importance of making the entrance area welcoming: " We try to make our entrance area inviting with a board of staff photos and names, a photo frame of kids at play, and a chalkboard where we write quotes or phrases".
Important ideas also mentioned by our community include: a growth chart, personal touches, open-ended and quiet activities for everyone, flowers and plants (real or fake), welcome sign, photos of staff, Tanya mentioned: "I love having plants in the classroom for a cozy touch".
Thank you to our wonderful Quality Classrooms Community for sharing their knowledgeable and inspirational ideas!