Schools Revamp Classrooms this Summer Break
Summer break is a time for relaxing and recharging the batteries after a hectic school year, with trips abroad, days out with the family, and plenty of long lies being a quintessential summer experience for students and teachers.
However, summer break doesn’t necessarily mean leaving a school empty for the duration of the summer, as a lot of work tends to be put into restoring and revamping parts of the school.
This makes sense when you consider there are few opportunities to do a bit of maintenance around a school when it is teeming with students, teachers, and other employees, which is why much of this work is left until the summer months.
While making repairs and general maintenance around the school is typically the main focus during summer break, it also presents a good opportunity for teachers to revamp their classrooms.
Taking advantage of the free time during the summer months is a great way to tidy things up, make some changes to the décor, and even upgrade some of the teaching supplies.
In fact, it’s becoming more common for schools to revamp their classrooms throughout the summer - and for plenty of good reasons!
Reasons to Revamp Classrooms During the Summer Break
Yes, summer break is about taking time off from work, but many teachers prefer to invest some of the free time at the start of the summer to improve their classroom. This is a good idea as it ensures that the class is ready to roll for the new school year at the end of summer, allowing teachers to focus on teaching straight off the bat.
Of course, doing this during term time is almost impossible, as teachers and other school employees simply have too many responsibilities to focus on. So, once summer break begins, many can dedicate a few days to organising their classroom, possibly even making some changes to the décor and furniture.
Another obvious reason to revamp during the summer is the lack of students in a class.
Yes, you could get some help from pupils when rearranging things around the classroom, especially for younger students in primary school, but other than that it is nearly impossible to get anything done during term time.
Instead, most wait until summer break as there will be no students around, meaning no distractions so you can get the job done quickly without any interruptions.
Perfect Planning Period
When starting to plan classroom updates and renovations, a simple can quickly spiral into something a lot more complex and time-consuming.
Thankfully, the summer break provides the perfect time to plan ahead, as teachers have several weeks to plan everything they require and then set about ordering supplies, changing things around, and then setting up any new supplies.
Having time to plan also allows you to prepare for the unexpected. For instance, the wrong type of white board could be ordered and you need time to send it back and wait for a replacement, so with the summer break you have enough time to address any problems that could arise.
How to Prepare a Classroom for a Summer Revamp
When taking the time to reorganise and revamp a classroom over the summer break, it helps to plan lots in advance to ensure everything is completed with minimal fuss. Prepping the classroom is one of the most important steps of a summer revamp, and the sooner the class is prepped the quicker the changes can be made!
Check out these tips for how to best prepare a classroom for a summer revamp:
Take an Inventory
When revamping a class, you should always take stock of your classroom supplies, especially as lots of this will be getting packed away, moved around, and possibly even replaced. Take the time to organise all the cluttered supplies, taking note of what you have and might need, as well as packing things away for when the work begins.
Protect Fragile Supplies
When talking about fragile supplies, we’re mostly referring to any piece of technology that could end up damaged or misplaced during the revamp. You may just be moving things around and making minor changes, but the last thing you want is to accidentally break a tablet or television because it wasn’t protected prior to the revamp.
You should take not of all technology supplies when taking inventory, so be sure to store them in a safe location when reorganising things around the classroom. It may be a good idea to cover any computers that can’t be removed with old sheets or plastic bags to keep them safe!
Be Ruthless with Clutter
Removing classroom clutter is a very cathartic experience for a teacher. Clutter quickly accumulates in even the most organised classrooms, making it difficult to find the time to get rid of all the useless stuff lying around.
When reorganising over the summer, take the opportunity to get rid of all the clutter. Be ruthless, removing all outdated supplies, duplicate items, and anything that you may not need come the new term.
Before throwing any of this out, be sure to offer the old stuff to another teacher at the school who may have a use for it.
Create a Floorplan
This doesn’t need to a be a professional looking floorplan - even a simple map of the classroom will suffice. Doing so allows you to best plan for any new additions to the classroom and for reorganising things, and you don’t even need to stick to your original plan.
The idea is to help getter a grasp on how you would like to reorganise and revamp things around the classroom. It could be something as simple as moving chairs and tables around or planning where new supplies will go.
Best Additions to Revamp a Classroom
Now comes the fun part - deciding what additions to make to the classroom over the summer break. What is available depends entirely on the budget of the school, what the teacher needs, and any additions that offer great value for money.
There are many ways to add to a classroom during a summer revamp, any of which could make it a better learning environment for pupils. Here are some worthwhile additions to make to a classroom during the summer - most of them are affordable too!
Every modern classroom should be fitted with a whiteboard. This modern update over the classic blackboard as so many advantages to offer that having one is a no-brainer. In fact, you may want to consider adding several different whiteboards to your classroom!
School Whiteboards are great not only for their easy maintenance - you just wipe away the ink and start over - but also because they are very engaging for pupils. For instance, you can use several different colours to help make information easier to digest, while pupils asked to write on whiteboards tend to find it very engaging.
Better still, there are countless types of whiteboards are available to choose from, all of which have their own unique advantages. For example, a mobile whiteboard isn’t fitted to a wall so can be moved around to accommodate the lighting - perfect for when the sun is beating through the window and impairing vision!
Also, handheld whiteboards are even more mobile and make for a great learning tool. You can hand these out to pupils for certain exercises or group work activities, helping to further engage them during class time.
Engaging Notice Boards
Another great addition to a classroom for a minimal investment, notice boards offer a variety of benefits for teachers and students, and are available in various shapes and sizes to accommodate every type of classroom.
Perhaps the most prominent use of notice boards is to display information. This has various applications in a learning environment, such as displaying information on current subject pupils are learning, displacing info on an upcoming project or school trip.
As opposed to constantly divulging information from text books, notice boards allow for more engaging learning, displaying interesting information, colourful graphics, and other displays that students find absorbing.
School Notice boards can also be used to motivate students. For example, displaying the best achievers in the classroom for a week works as a great motivator for students, encouraging them to provide a high quality of work to receive appropriate recognition.
It could also be used to display the work of the children in the classroom, serving as further inspiration to get the best out of pupils. Notice boards can be used to display stories, poems, or artwork - anything that provides positive recognition for pupils is a good use of this equipment!
best of all, notice boards are flexible! You can use it for any of the examples mentioned above, mixing and matching throughout the semester to suit your requirements.
Book Shelves for a Mini Library
Classrooms likely have plenty of books on hand, so it’s always a good idea to add some bookshelves to create a nice miniature library. These don’t need to be brand-new shelves either, as they could be old ones that are repurposed for the classroom.
For instance, charity shops are a great place for old furniture, so why not check there for some cheap bookshelves? Sand it down and add a coat of colourful paint and you have the perfect bookshelf for a classroom!
Text books don’t even need to be the main feature either. Many teachers love to create a positive reading environment, so will stack various books into their shelves to encourage more reading, possibly even in class.
Again, hit charity shops for class books, and consider asking other teachers if they have any older books that are getting thrown out - any book is a welcome addition to a classroom library!
As you have hopefully decluttered for the summer revamp, now is the perfect time to invest in storage containers. Doing so ensures everything remains organised throughout the year, helping avoid clutter build-ups shortly after term starts back.
Use whatever storage containers you have access too, whether it’s buying new plastic containers or repurposing older boxes and totes. For better organisation during the summer, label all the containers before putting anything in them, as this should help keep things in order.
For those with some money to invest in storage, drawer organisers are a great option for storing those loose supplies (paper, stationary, scissors, paints etc.), while storage baskets are another great option for affordable classroom storage.
Computer Work Station
As technology becomes more widespread in classrooms, it’s a good time to add some tech corners to your classroom, and the addition of a few computer work stations is a great way to do this. It doesn’t necessarily need to be new computer desks, you could simply rearrange the furniture so there are dedicated workstations for computers.
Of course, this depends on the availability of computers and how much space is available to work with but creating a dedicated tech workspace is a great way to add a new dimension to the classroom that students are sure to love.
Looking for some fun and enjoyable seating options? Then look no further than beanbags! These are great for encouraging students to sit down in a relaxed environment and would be a great addition to any reading nooks you’ve created.
There may be limited space in your classroom, but even enough room for just a couple of beanbags will add lots of fun to the room!