As the temperature drops and daylight hours shorten, many schools feel a little more like a prison than a place of learning. But don’t let the bleakness of winter send you into an indoor lockdown.
Instead, use this season as your opportunity to give your classroom a new lease on life. With a few thoughtful preparations and minimal effort, you can turn your room from grimy and grey to refreshingly frosty.
Doing so will help you stay warm and cozy and inspire you to keep your teaching juices flowing throughout the cold months ahead. Here are some tips for winterizing your classroom this season. Read on for more information.
Get Ready For Colder Weather
In colder weather, students may need extra layers of clothing like jackets or sweaters to keep them warm in the classroom. Ensure you have enough of these items so students can stay comfortable during lessons.
You should also check that all windows and doors are appropriately sealed to prevent drafts from entering the room and creating an uncomfortable chill.
Make sure you and your students have dressed appropriately for physical activity, such as sports or outdoor field trips. It’s also a good idea to keep blankets or shawls in the classroom to cover up if needed.
Test Heaters And Air Conditioners
Fresh air will make you teach students better, but it’s also essential to ensure the temperature in your classroom is comfortable.
If your school has heating or air conditioning units in the classrooms, make sure to test them before the winter season arrives. If any repairs or maintenance is needed, now is the time to ensure that your classrooms remain warm and comfortable for the whole season.
Change Your Air Filter
Air quality is a common indoor climate problem many people don’t recognize until it’s too late.
Dirty filters can stagnate air flow and trap airborne contaminants, causing your whole room to smell like last year’s lunch and your skin to be impossibly dry and flaky.
If you haven’t changed your air filter in the last year, it’s time to do so before you’re left gasping for air. Filters come in a wide variety of price points, and, as such, you can find one to meet every budget. You might even want to invest in two different filters to swap them out as the seasons change.
You can use a filter calculator to find the right filter for your room. In addition to changing the filter, another proactive step you can take to improve your indoor air quality is to run fans or oscillating fans while you’re in the room to keep the air moving.
Stock Up On Supplies
To keep your classroom organized during the colder months, stock up on supplies like filing cabinets, bookshelves, and wall organizers. This will help you keep your materials organized and easy to access when students need them for lessons.
Your favorite winter classroom activities will be much easier to manage if you have all the supplies.
Ice cubes, paper plates, and other craft supplies can also help your students stay busy during the winter season, so be sure to stock up on these items.
Winter blues can be a dreary time of year, so why not brighten your classroom with seasonal decorations? Hang festive garlands on the walls or add cute snowman figures to desks and shelves.
You can also decorate with art projects created by your students – this will help them get into the holiday season! Winter fun doesn’t have to end when the last bell rings.
Get Some Plants (Or At Least A Few Flowers)
OK, so flowers aren’t precisely plants, but they are still great for adding color and vibrancy to a room. Studies show that adding plants to a room can help to increase alertness and reduce stress, making them a perfect addition to your classroom. You can always get fake plants if you’re not a plant person.
Please make sure you clean and dust them regularly to keep them looking their best. You can also get artificial flowers to add a pop of color without the work of taking care of an actual plant. You can’t go wrong with adding some color to your space, whichever route you go.
Besides adding a few plants, another easy way to add color to your room is with blinds or shades. You can choose fabrics (or paper if you want to save a bit of cash) that coordinate or contrast with your wall color to create a new look. Shades will let in less light than blinds, but they’re cheaper and easier to install.
Blinds and shades are relatively affordable, and you can find something for any budget. If you’re worried about your room getting too hot during the summer, look at thermal or blackout shades. They can help to keep your room cooler by blocking out sunlight. Plus, they’re great for blocking out noise.
Students write better with more natural light, so go with blinds that can be opened and closed to let in just the right amount of sunshine.
Add A Little Color
Besides changing your blinds and getting a few plants, adding color is another super simple way to brighten your space. You can do this by hanging a piece of colorful art on your wall, adding a colorful rug, or changing the color of your walls.
If you decide to paint your walls, consider choosing a light, neutral color that will be appropriate for any season. Or, if you want to add a bit of boldness to your room, paint one wall a bright color. A splash of color can provide a pop that makes any room feel fresh and new.
Science experiments in a winter wonderland-themed classroom can help liven things up and keep students engaged.
Add A Rug Or Blanket
Consider a rug or blanket if you’d like to add a pop of color to your room but aren’t sure if painting your walls is the right fit for you. Rugs come in all colors and styles, so you can pick one that fits your room perfectly.
A blanket is an excellent option if you’d instead select an item with a more general, seasonal purpose. Pick a pattern or color that adds warmth to your room or goes well with your current color scheme. You can even get a fleece blanket to help keep your space warm in the winter.
If your classroom is anything like most others, it’s probably full of stuff. And, unfortunately, most of it won’t be put away neatly.
That’s why it’s great to streamline your storage for the winter months. This can be as simple as putting away excess furniture (like folding up tables and chairs) or putting away unnecessary items.
By streamlining your storage, you’ll make your room much tidier and more organized, making it easier for everyone to find what they need and for you to tidy up at the end of the day quickly. If there are specific items you’d like to put away for the winter but don’t have the storage space, consider renting a storage unit near your school.
As the weather gets chillier, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking special care of any items that may be prone to damage in the cold. This means taking special care of your plants, outdoor furniture, and other outdoor items you bring inside.
You’ll also want to protect any items that you don’t want to get dusty or dirty over the winter, including books and electronics. You may consider storing these items in special bags or containers to keep them safe and sound.
If you don’t want to commit to permanently storing items like books and electronics, consider storing them in a laundry basket. They’re easy to move around and provide ample protection from dust and debris.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure to clean your classroom thoroughly before the winter months set in. This means cleaning the room's surfaces, floors, and everything else.
Cabinets, drawers, and shelves are also essential to clean, especially if you store any food items. You can use a few simple tricks to ensure your cabinets are as clean as possible. You’ll also want to clean the contents of your room. This means cleaning any messy desks, wiping off whiteboards, and tidying up any piles of books or papers.
Winter Classroom Ideas
Here are a few more ideas for preparing your classroom for the winter season:
Install a space heater to keep the room warm.
Hang wall decorations that are cheerful and brighten up your room.
Place potted plants around the room to infuse them with life and color.
Get creative with how you use fabric! Hang curtains or drape a scarf over an open window.
Stock up on warm blankets and cozy pillows for students during study sessions.
Place candles around the classroom for a calming atmosphere and aromatherapy.
Keeping your classroom clean and tidy isn’t just good hygiene; it’s essential for a productive and pleasant learning environment. In addition to keeping your space clean, you’ll also want to keep the heat on during the winter.
This can be a challenge in some areas, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. You can purchase an extra large space heater, get blackout curtains, and turn up your thermostat.
If you follow these tips, your winter will be a lot easier. Your students will thank you for keeping them warm and cozy, and you’ll thank yourself for making the season a little easier.