Skip to content

A Welcoming Classroom

September 13, 2012

I hope you have all had a successful start to the new school year. I have! You may have noticed that I have been so busy having fun at school that I have neglected my blog posts. I am still grading papers, which takes a while because I am committed to giving meaningful feedback and not just grades. (See our previous post on Feedback.) I am reminded of this quote every time I review or grade student work.

Feedback says to a student, “Somebody cared enough about my work to read it and think about it!” Brookhart (2008)

Though the last few weeks have been very busy with my adult learners, I do have a couple of ideas that you might find useful for your classroom.

My goal is always to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere in my classroom, even though my students are all adults in graduate programs. The first days of class I arrive early with flowers for each table, a box of supplies, post-its, Hershey’s kisses, relaxing music and sometimes a fresh scent for the room.I operate on the theory that chocolate makes everything better. (I don’t recommend this for younger students who have different nutritional needs.)

I discovered a few years ago that one bunch of daisies or chrysanthemums would provide 2-3 blooms for each table and last 10-14 days.  I think I get a good return on my investment. I bought nine small and colorful vases, and a handy crate for carrying. The crate sits on my desk when I am not in the classroom, so I always have fresh flowers on my desk as well.

During the first week I have students take each other’s pictures with a digital camera. I use these pictures  for the class roster, to learn names and for various class projects throughout the year. It is great for your sub folder. This year I used an idea I found on Pinterest to make a colorful picture frame for each student to hold. I added the date to it, so I will remember when the picture was taken.

Directions for Picture Frame

Materials: Foam poster board, cutting knife, hot glue gun or tacky glue, bulletin board border, colored card stock for date.

  • With a yardstick or straight edge, measure 4 inches from the edge of the board.
  • Mark and cut this out. This will be your picture frame. I didn’t want to worry about a perfect edge, so I let my bulletin board border lap over the edge and glued it on. I use masking tape to add the date, so that I can reuse my frame next year.

I enjoy the color and flowers and I think my students do too.

If you have ideas to create a welcoming classroom, please share those with us here.

Have a great day!



5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara Noah permalink
    September 16, 2012 12:24 pm

    As a former student of yours, I can say that I really loved the vase with flowers that you put on our tables each class period! It made our “sterile” classroom much more lovely and enjoyable! =) Thanks!!!

    • September 16, 2012 1:04 pm

      Thank you Tara! It made the classroom more enjoyable for me too. Thanks for the feedback! Linda

  2. Bob Reese permalink
    September 13, 2012 11:00 pm

    I am Rich Reese’s brother, I have followed for a short time. You are an inspiration. Tech Ed 12 yrs. Sixth grade science for eight days. I really enjoy your topics. I like the flowers! Keep it coming. Have a great year! Bob Reese

    • September 14, 2012 8:39 am

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate feedback myself. I am glad you find the blog useful. Good luck with those 6th graders. I’m confident they will be an inspiration to you.

      Best regards,


  1. Setting the Tone for Success in the Classroom: Building Relationships | From Surviving to Thriving

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: