Color-Coding the Classroom

March 9, 2014

Color-Coding the Classroom

March 9, 2014
Happy Weekend!! Today I am joining tons of my blog friends in sharing some bright ideas…from our classroom to yours!

The bright idea I would like to share is definitely bright…as in bright colors!

So, I’ve been decorating my room with black and bright for three years now. I love the happy colors and my students do too (we always laugh when the neon clothes they wear match the bins in the room!).
But in the back of my mind, I was always a bit worried about the amount of color in the room. If you’ve read my blog since the beginning, you know I used to be pretty one or two-toned when it came to color schemes. 
Was it too much color?
Was it distracting to my students?

I want my room to be vibrant and energizing, yet remain calming overall. So this summer I reworked my scheme to be more purposeful in its use of hues:
Suddenly all the colors had a purpose. Now the room looked more cohesive, less scattered.

And I could keep all of my decor, I just had to rearrange it a bit so all colors were together to represent a particular subject.

Each subject in our class has the same basic elements to keep it color-coded and organized. Here’s a peek at our color-coding for Writer’s Workshop:

1. Bins: Students pass in any assignments during the day in these bright buckets.

2. Charts: I use large pieces of bright chart paper that I’ve laminated to create our anchor charts (I am NOT the best chart-maker…working on that one!). We create the large ones together on these laminated sheets, then I type them up onto smaller sheets to refer to later.

3. Markers: We use coordinating chalk markers to mark the following on each bulletin board:
  • essential question
  • key vocabulary
  • our strategies

I’m honestly not sure if I will use these markers in the same way next year or not. They are pricey, but they do pop nicely across the room. It’s been a great visual for my students this year.

4. Notebooks: This was such a lucky find this summer!! Walmart happened to have all the colors I needed to coordinate my notebooks to each subject area! The best part? I didn’t have to make any labels for any of our notebooks…it’s so clear which notebook is needed for which subject just by glancing at it!
It’s amazing what this color-coding has done for our classroom! I’ve been able to keep all of our color, yet make the room much calmer and more cohesive.

And the best part?

It has been so much easier for my newest English Language Learners to find the resources and materials they need for each lesson…and that has been wonderful to see.

I know my room evolves a bit each year, but I also know that I will stick with color-coding by subject in the future.

The next stop in the hop is Tech with Jen! Jen has a post all about Keyboarding Skills for your students and you can click on the button below to read all about it. I will see you there because that’s where I’m headed first!

You can also hop around any of our blogs here:

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