Classroom Decor for Instruction

Last week, I started getting my room ready for this next year, and I decided to snap a few pictures of a few decor pieces that have really been helpful to me.  I haven’t done much with decor design, but what I have made has really been used by my students.
The first item I’m going to share with you are the phoneme cards I created.  They have been a huge help for getting my students to think for themselves about spelling.  I have them displayed in a prominent location for the kids to use when writing.  When they ask me to spell a word for them, I refer them to the wall over and over again.  What I encourage them to do is write their words on a dry erase board in all the possible ways they think it could be spelled and think about how they normally see it in books.  Many words are spelled correctly using these strategies.  Here’s a glimpse of how I have displayed the phoneme cards.
Another use of these cards is during word study introduction.  They work well as anchor charts that you could display on a focus board or wall during the week.  Here’s the focus wall I have made to use for this year using an oil drip pan I purchased from Walmart for $12.00.  I used it during camp, and I am so excited about how it will help me with guided reading groups this year.
 There are four options in my store now, but if you have a particular design you like, I am glad to change the background for you.  Just purchase one of the sets and email me with the colors you need (  It doesn’t take long to revise, and I’ll add new options to my store after.  phoneme-posters-pin

A few years ago, I took The Skillful Teacher course, and one requirement for us is to post encouraging statements around our rooms, and I think this really is a great culture builder.  I looked for inspirational quotes, and I created signs to display to go with my animal print theme.  My colleague across the hall really liked them and requested some in green and purple…her colors. Of course, I said yes.  (She’s my buddy!)  I actually grouped them in my room for greater impact, but you could post them one per month by your door or project them for morning messages or during testing time to encourage positive attitudes.

Finally, I LOVED this last item, and it is a reading vocabulary word wall.  I used clothes pins to mark words we were focusing on during our lessons.  Here’s a glimpse of it on my board.
I referred to the words often to ensure my students were familiar with what they mean.  It takes 15 exposures for a vocabulary word to become known, and yet, test makers often throw these types of words into the question stems used for standardized testing.  If students have not been taught what the words mean, it makes it impossible to answer questions knowledgeably about a topic.
Thanks for dropping by, readers, and be sure to come back tomorrow for two exciting posts, but before you go, grab this decor freebie that you can project or post by your door.Now…I’m off to the beach with my youngest. Tonight, we’re off to Pirate Adventures…should be lots of fun!


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