Using Color to make an Impact in Your Classroom
It’s a well-known fact that color can enhance your mood, and while no one should go as far as ingesting yellow paint, you can use color in your classroom to positively impact your students.
Most classrooms look like this: white walls, white tile, and boring seated desks. If students see that everyday do you think they’ll be inspired to be creative and attentive? Colors can impact people in many ways. When you go to McDonalds, the walls and tables are red because the color increases energy and appetite. So, how do you want your students to be affected in your classroom?
Tips for using color effectively
When you open a new box of Crayola crayons, what’s the most satisfying part? That fact that they’re all color-coded! Seeing someone purposefully mix them all up kind of makes you feel bad, too. That’s how color and organization effects our thoughts and feelings. So, use this color association to your advantage.
Create A Color Palette for Your Classroom
Choosing a color palette will help you set a mood for the classroom, and it can keep your decorations organized. No one wants to walk into a room that is decorated with 10 different colors. That would be too much for your eyes to handle, and in a classroom, it can lead to a chaotic atmosphere. Instead, choose a few soothing colors. A palette example could be using light blue and light purple as your base colors, and add an accent color of yellow for a pop of bright energy. These colors can work together to create a classroom atmosphere of well-being, calmness, creativity, and happiness. Pam Schiller, PhD, a curriculum specialist, author, and speaker, wrote the book Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years, Revised Edition, and created this color chart for classrooms:
|Red||Creates alertness and excitement.|
May be disturbing to anxious individuals.
|Blue||Creates a sense of well-being.|
Sky blue is tranquilizing.
Can lower temperature.
|Yellow||Creates a positive feeling.|
Optimum color for maintaining attention.
|Brown||Promotes a sense of security and relaxation.|
|Off-White||Creates positive feelings.|
Helps maintain attention.
This chart can be a resource for you to choose the most effective color palette for your classroom atmosphere goals.
Using Color with Different Age Groups
Color can be used to positively impact students from pre-K to high school, it’s all about where it is placed though.
With younger students, you can use red placemats and bowls to help those picky eaters during lunch. And when nap time rolls around, you can dim the lights, and use color changing lightbulbs to give the classroom a light blue haze for relaxation. This will encourage them to calm down and rest.
You can also use color placement throughout the classroom with older students. When creating work nooks, think about what the students will be doing there. If the space is meant for reading, then decorate with blues, greens, and browns. This will signal their brains to be attentive to their reading material. If you have a math station, you might want to consider white and orange colors to encourage the students to be alert and positive about their work.
Color can be used on everything from tables to wall hangings. You can also use colored tablecloths, decorations, and lights to change the mood of your classroom for each lesson or workday. The impact that color has on your students can change the way your class is ran, so try to implement some of these color tactics to have the best school year yet!