Thursday, May 3, 2012

Classroom Walls Tip #4 {cover open shelving}

If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom.

This week we're focusing on your classroom walls. Today's tip is to cover any open shelves (meaning shelves and cabinets that lack doors) to hide the visual clutter.  I did a post last August that explained in detail how I covered my shelves (shown below) using posterboard from the dollar store and some ribbon.  You can read that post here.

It seems like every teacher I talk to all says the same are less and less attentive each year.  For that reason alone it is so important to eliminate as much distraction from learning as possible. I think the most dramatic evidence I've ever seen of the effect covering open shelving has on helping eliminate distraction has to be Jessica Meacham's classroom.  Below are the before and after photos of her shelving.

Is that not amazing?  

Another idea is to use curtains to cover your shelves. With many shelving units you can do this easily with a tension rod at the top.

{photo source}
{photo source}

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  1. I really wish we were allowed to do something like this. We are told that we can't cover any shelving - at all. Huge bummer. These are some great looking cover ups!

  2. Wow! That's a lot of shelving. Nevermind the kids getting distracted, I get distracted by my messy shelves. I like to keep mine covered too. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  3. This is too cool. I don't know how I missed those photos on Jessica's website, but the difference is amazing!!

  4. I teach preschool and it really helps my little Monkeys concentrate by covering the shelves. I use Velcro to attach my curtains to the shelves, makes it SUPER easy to pull them off and wash them when/if kiddos spill something on them.


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