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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