|Kindergarten class with natural wood furniture and a few muted pastel accents. |
This Kindergarten class is pretty mild in terms of colour and is not too overpowering. I guess the theory is if we are going to teach students about self regulation, then we have to give them a gentle atmosphere so we don't set them off right from the start.
I experimented with colour in my own class at the beginning too. I had this one bold blue wall (with the smushed sheep sponge painting disaster), plus a couple of commercially-made alphabet strips with a rainbow background. See below.
But when I moved to a different classroom, I pared the colour right down. NO commercial posters, NO big walls of colour, NO borders. Okay, I did have some burgundy drapes and a couple of other accents. And for a long time, I was very happy with it.
|Here's my calm, happy window space. Ahhhh.|
But then my contentedness ended.
The first reason is: over the summer, my stinky carpet (that had stains of suspect origin) was replaced with clean, blue-grey lino tile. After 3 months, it looks pretty much the same as it did in August. Clean, bright, and hmmm, a bit sterile. My colour is the best out of the other colours that went in (and yes, I picked it, so I can't celebrate or complain) because the other ones look like baby vomit, or like the rich blue tile, they looked great in September, but show every single scratch since. My floor looks clean! Bright! Think: New Hospital! Not really the look I was going for.
The second reason that the non-colour honeymoon is over is: with my job to explore interesting classrooms, I have the opportunity to visit lots of other classrooms. Last month, I invited myself into a couple of classrooms in another district. Many of the classrooms looked pretty much as you would expect: a bunch of desks, mostly in rows with the usual displays with the background paper and borders that look like Walt Disney had a hemorrhage in a rectangular shape. But a couple of classrooms were pretty terrific. See below.
|The four pictures above come from a grade 3/4 class. |
Every space in the classroom is used in a beautiful, inviting, and useful way.
|I love this shot. It is of L reading a picture book to |
her grade 7 students while they sit on the floor.
Also check out the multilink, multicoloured foam carpet they are sitting on.
|L uses furniture and lighting to define her spaces.|
|Above: a couple of oasis spots.|
I'll probably use some of the lessons I learned from these other classrooms to return some warmth to my classroom. Maybe I'll bring in some accent colours and then mute them with lower lighting. I already have some cool spherical fixtures in my class, so maybe that will be enough.
So a gradual return to colour. In moderation.