Grey – according to colour theory, it’s the colour that represents calm, compromise, and diplomacy. You might not think about using much grey in your classroom decoration (we love a bit of colour!), but it can be really helpful when used in the right way. We’re sure the idea of a grey classroom gives some of you flashbacks to boring, drab space that don’t inspire learning, but we think that when it’s used in a purposeful way, and maybe combined with a bit of colour, it can bring calm to your classroom. Our slate classroom display pack is a neutral with interest - it looks textured and has various tones of grey. So here’s our guide to using our slate classroom display pack to help your classroom feel like a reliable space for students to relax and learn.
Balance out your fixed colours
There are some things we don’t get a choice about when it comes to our classroom design, things like the big pieces of furniture, the carpet, the walls. If your classroom has colourful green chairs, you’ll need to work around that! Maybe you have a fantastic carpet for circle time that’s bright and full of colour, you’ll need to think about how that works too. If you’ve got a lot of colour in your room then choosing our slate classroom display pack can be a great way to keep that in mind and balance things out a little. If your students have yellow tables to work on, you might not want to add lots more colour around the room, and choosing to keep some key areas grey can help to make sure they don’t feel overwhelmed by the space.
Create a class charter
According to colour theory, grey is the colour of compromise and diplomacy, so take the opportunity to create a class charter! Gather your students together and start a discussion about how we want to feel and how we want to be treated while in our classroom. Then, think about what we can do and how we can treat others so we can make it happen. Come up with some guidelines or a pledge and write it into a big display, so the children can always see the charter they helped to make. You could even have the children sign it, or leave a handprint to show they agree. You could also keep this going throughout the year by having weekly class charter representatives, choosing one or two students each week to see if they can really embody the charter and show the rest of the class how it’s done – or you could reward some students who have shown to be upholding the charter by awarding them charter ambassador of the week!
Have some permanent displays for reference
It’s great to change up your displays regularly – keeping visuals up to date with what your students are learning is key. In many ways it really helps to reduce the visual load. Rather than having, for example, measurement, clocks, and money displays out all at once all year, only displaying the topic you’re learning about at the time means that everything will be useful and they don’t have to search around for what they need. However, it can also be helpful to have some permanent displays with key information, so students will know that time and again throughout the year they can look to that same place and find the reminder they need. This will vary depending on your age group and subject, but something helpful for many teachers is an alphabet display – which we have included in our classroom display pack. Having a permanent display that children can always reference will help your classroom to feel like a reliable space that gives them what they need.
Neutrals for sensory issues
All children are different and learn in different ways. Some children enjoy colourful, vibrant displays as it makes the information more fun and engaging. Other children can find this overwhelming and too stimulating, and so prefer something more neutral and calming. Our slate classroom display pack can come in really useful for this – you could create all of your displays, organisation labels, and even your lesson slides (with our powerpoint templates!) in slate grey, with a subtle texture to create some neutral interest. You could also use the slate design in combination with one of our more vibrant designs, so you could have a mix of fun, colourful displays and calming, neutral displays to balance things out. You could even use the slate design to signal key information or instructions, such as organisation labels, hand washing instructions, or golden rules, and use a different design for rotating displays.
What kind of style do you go for in your classroom? Cool and calm, or bright and vibrant? Or a mix of both? We’d love to see – tag us in your classroom photos on Instagram! You can find our slate classroom display pack here, and the rest of our display pack designs here.