Classroom Design Ideas

Pinspiring Classroom Design by: Erin Klein

Thanks to Jeannie for allowing me to be a guest on her amazing blog today!  I'm the author of Kleinspiration, a technology resource sharing blog.  I teach second grade, but I often post ideas that appeal to grade levels K - 12 and teachers, too!  I invite you to follow me on my blog and social networking sites, too.  I love connecting with other teachers!

Getting Started with Classroom Design:

Prior to teaching, I studied Interior Design.  I'm a firm believer in creating aesthetically pleasing spaces that appeal to the developmental age of your learning community.  Of course, it's wonderful to have a beautiful space, but you must also consider the brain-friendly aspect of your design plan.

The book, Exceeding Expectations, truly helped me to understand the essentials of great classroom design and bran-friendly teaching.  You can click here to see the book on Amazon.  This resource was my 'go-to-guide' when I was initially setting up my classroom.  The sketches and easy to read format really helped me to understand how to lay out my space for my former first graders. I've used these tips in each space I've ever designed (even in my middle school classrooms).

Does color and layout really matter?

According to the research, yes.  Throughout the pages of Exceeding Expectations among several other brain research based books, you can read about the studies done on classroom environments.  Personally, I like to apply basic common sense...

Do you act differently when you eat out at a fast food restaurant versus a fine dining establishment?

Even walking into friend's homes, I can tell that my own children (ages 4 and 7) act more respectful when the living space is organized, clean, and aesthetically pleasing.  There is a natural habit of taking one's shoes off when you enter the home of a well-kept space.  This is the feeling I want my students to have when they enter my classroom (not necessarily taking one's shoes off - but rather the feeling of being careful, respectful, responsible, and having accountability). 

My Classroom 2010 - 2011

My Favorite Design Elements for Classroom Spaces:

  • Use picture frames to show off popular book covers or genres you're studying
  • Take advantage of interactive bulletin boards to spark engagement and usefulness
  • Bring a touch of your home into the classroom: add curtains around bulletin boards, use decorative scrapbook paper to feature items on your bulletin board, accessorize with trinkets (I love Hobby Lobby!)
  • Bring the outdoors inside - adding plants has an amazing effect
  • Stick with a consistent color scheme
  • De-Clutter!  You can read my article on Really Good Stuff by clicking here
  • Create open spaces for hands-on learning ie: centers, projects, collaboration, etc.
  • Keep anchor charts, design elements, etc. at your learner's eye level
  • Less is More  

Crave More Design Ideas?

I'm constantly collecting new and inspiring ideas on organization and design.  Feel free to follow me on Pinterest for my latest finds.  :)  I've become quite the Pin-o-holic lately, so you're sure to find some inspiration for your space.  If you have creative ideas, please share them in the comments below!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thanks Jeannie for the opportunity to say hello to your amazing readers and connect with your Kinder audience.  I simply love your blog and the ideas you share.

Have a Great Summer,

Erin Klein



  1. I'm getting off my computer right now to go declutter! I am in the process of moving (my apartment and classroom) so now is a great time! Thanks for the ambition:)

    We are ALL Special!

  2. What an inspiration, it makes me want to run up to my room right now and get started! :)

  3. This was a great post to read, especially because my classroom is currently undergoing a makeover. I love the calm green color of your classroom!

  4. I love this post! My summer project is to really get my classroom organized and designed the way I like it and to also be beneficial to my students. Your advice really helps! (I am now a new follower of this blog and Erin's!)

    Miss Ashley's Amazing Resource Room

  5. Great post! I sure wish we were able to use curtains in our classrooms (against firecode) because there are so many creative things you can do with them these days! I'm going to work on de-cluttering a bit more too....funny how quickly stuff adds up! Thanks for the tips. :)

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  6. I love the idea of framing book covers! I, too, love an organized classroom filled with materials for students, not only for the teacher. Thanks for a great post!
    Teaching With Style

  7. Erin - these are such great things to think about.....I love the way it looks :0) Thank you!

  8. Oh my gosh... I just hopped on to show my husband this post and am overwhelmed with the kind comments. You all have truly made my day!!