How will you color your classroom?

I always knew that color affects people differently but I then started to think: “Can color affect how students learn?”   

Since we are preparing our classrooms for our new school year we should be prepared to understand what can help or be a detriment to our students. We usually use posters, charts, and other décor but consider the backdrop while planning out this year’s classroom space.

Color can be used to help gain students’ focus and increase their learning. However, if the wrong color is used, it could also be a detriment to learning. 

High contrast and bright colors are intellectually stimulating and can increase mental focus for younger children. Those same colors can be too distracting for older students.  More subdued hues can be less distracting in the upper grades. 

We can use this knowledge to our advantage!

If we know that high contrast and bright colors are distracting, then think about putting those bright colors where you tend to do more demonstrating which would draw greater attention in that direction. 

Using neutral or pastel colors (blues, greens, primary colors) in the area where students are to work and concentrate, allows better productivity due to their soothing nature and decreased distractibility.    

Due to this calming effect, students are more open to new ideas.

Use yellows and oranges to help students’ creative energy but stay away from white and off white shades which are boring, make students restless and cause frustration.

Do you want students to pay greater attention to detail?  Use red!  It is known to energize and make students more attentive to mistakes.  But beware that red does not invoke creativity, but is linked to aggressive behavior!

So what will you do?  How will you prepare and set up your classroom?  Let us know what you have done, post your pictures, what has worked and how it has worked. We would love to hear from you!



NeoCON. The Impact of Color on Learning. (accessed August 2, 2012)

NPR. Study: Seeing Red, Blue Affects Outcome of Tasks. (accessed August  2, 2012)

Transition Times ~ Addition Question Pack

 Interruptions are always occurring but there are ways to manage them. With Day Plan Schedules, Essential Teacher Binders packs, and strategies that we as teachers already have in place, we organize and prepare the best we can.  Another component of being prepared and organized is to mitigate those transition times.  Having students settle and re-focus is the challenge all of the time.  Think of when they come in from recess, they are still laughing, worked up, excited and definitely not focused on the next lesson.  I find that having transition activities prepared for them quickly grabs their attention and settles them down.  I usually set quick question packages up at the beginning of the year and include them as part of my incentives to students.  For example, complete the page in its entirety within 1 minute they receive 3 stars, 2 minutes = 2 stars and 3 minutes = 1 star.  After the 3 minutes I don’t distribute stars.  At the end of the week, the students with the most stars receive a reward.  This could vary depending on age, but I find that even intermediate students love school stationary supplies, trinkets, and free time!  I have two packages set up for you already and more are coming. Click on the picture to access todays package, or here for the previously posted package. The packets are detailed, clear and they have answer keys too.  Don’t forget to follow us, as more packets, great resources and products are coming soon!



Mathematics Quick Question Pack

Here is another great product for your classroom!  This pack (one of many to come!) addresses transition times.  We all know that to settle students down after an interruption is a difficult task.  Start the year off, set up your expectations.  Have these prepared for your students. Each page contains quick questions (5) to allow students to quickly work and re-start their thinking after an interruption. Each page is designed to take from 2 to 5 minutes.


The mathematics pack contains the following topics:

* Multiples
* Factors
* Order of Operations
* Exponents

Oh, don’t worry an answer key is provided as well!  Hoping that this helps you too!

There are many ways that this package can be used. A few examples are:

*Review for core concepts
*Math Centre Activity
*Accessing Prior Knowledge
*Practice Sheets

Don’t forget to stay tuned as there will be more packages which will focus on other areas of mathematics.


Homework Paper, Reflection Paper and Behavior Paper!

Looking for new classroom management ideas? suggestions? tips? techniques? We just posted a few ideas to our store including a Homework Paper, Reflection Paper and Behavior Paper.

Here is a brief description of each:

‘Behavior Paper’ (2 pages) – This is a paper that is to be filled out by your students based on their behavior/attitude. There is a set of questions to be answered such as ‘what happened and where it happened, who was involved, what they will do in the future, etc.’ This is to be completed, sent home, discussed with parent(s)/guardian(s), signed and returned. It is a good idea to file this paper in each student’s personal portfolio, for reference, easy access, etc.
‘Homework Paper’(2 pages) – This is a paper to help your students keep track of homework that needs to be completed. When an assignment is due but not handed in nor completed by students, a homework paper is given with clear outlines as to what work needs to be completed under each specific subject. Letters are sent home and to be discussed and viewed by parent(s)/guardian(s, signed and returned with completed work.

‘Reflection Paper’ (1 page)– This paper is simply an overview of all the classroom rules as outlined, discussed and understood from day one. Each time it is necessary for your students to reflect because of their behavior or attitude or simply something they did or said that is against what was agreed at the beginning of the year, a reflection paper is given. They are to read the paper thoroughly each time, then copy it out word for word on a separate piece of paper and answer questions such as ‘why did you receive this paper? What will you do now? etc.’

For a more detailed description of each, please visit our store and click on each individual file.

Also, please note: each paper is sold separately.  If you only want one of the papers listed, please view each individual file posted on our store. If you like all three, purchase the bundle and SAVE.


Classroom and School Green Initiatives: A Planning Sheet

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful summer weather and appreciating your well-deserved time off!  So, isn’t now the perfect time to begin planning for September?! Well, if you’re anything like me, after a few lazy days in the sun, my mind begins to wander back to my classroom and I begin to plan out the upcoming school year. As much as I enjoy the freedom of summer vacation, I love returning to a sparkling clean classroom, neatly arranged desks, and freshly sharpened pencils. One of the best things about a new school year is the ability to begin with a fresh start and now is the perfect time to explore some green initiatives for your classroom and school.

If you haven’t already, check out this week’s installment of The Tuesday 12: 12 Green Initiatives for Your Classroom and School.  The 12 green initiatives are subdivided into three groups:  simple steps, ones that require a bit more time, and finally a few that are much larger projects.  It’s up to you to decide how many and what type of green initiatives you would like to try out, but just remember that every step counts, so even simple steps towards being more eco-friendly  make a big impact!

Here’s a teacher planner to help you organize your green initiatives for the school year!

Strategies for Basic Subtraction Facts

In a previous post, I wrote about and prepared reference sheets on how and in which order we as teachers should teach basic addition facts.  I have extended this to now include basic subtraction facts. 

Helping students acquire these skills will map out success for them in future years.  Print these out and keep them in your teacher binder for your reference.  We are always faced with students that have different learning experiences and even though you teach middle to higher grades you never know when you need to start right from the beginning!

Basic Subtraction Facts