Classroom Printable Decorations and Creative DIY Tips for Reading Intervention - Literacy Lights (2024)


If you’re looking for an engaging, attractive and editable classroom printable decorations kit OR you need DIY options to transform your reading intervention space, read on! You’ll find simple and effective ways to decorate your classroom to welcome and invite your students in from Day 1. They’ll bring smiles instead of reluctant groans into your reading intervention room.

I really believe one of my secret sauces in teaching struggling readers (aside from the necessary structured literacy trainings, knowledge and teaching experience itself) is my classroom and learning space. My second year teaching I actually made my room into a forest complete with the local mountains as the backdrop. I took photos of the students and they hung from the trees like monkeys, or sat atop the mountain lion or California Condor I had cut out of paper. Let’s just say the fire department didn’t approve and it didn’t last long! My kids loved my room and felt a sense of belonging and curiosity just being there. I knew I was on to something.

Reading intervention isn’t always the first place students want to go, even with your glowing personality to greet them! Let’s make it easier for them and for you.

No more searching Pinterest for classroom design examples to answer your question of “How can I decorate my classroom without too much prep so that it’s friendly and welcoming?” You’ll find fresh ideas to transform your intervention space below.

If you just “happen” to be a teacher on a limited budget (ha ha!), sign up for my newsletter here to receive regular freebies to help you out; I’ve been there! There is no purchase necessary to make your space into one that kids feel an important part of. The DIY alternatives to classroom printable decorations that follow are a fantastic and friendly option.

Skip to the checklist of Day 1 activities to do in your intervention room. These will help you decorate and add a sense of ownership and community with your students from the get go! The environment you teach in is nearly as important as the content you teach, let me help you make it count!

Classroom Decor, Backed By Research

Us teachers KNOW that the environment in our classes is an important factor to student success. This article outlines the critical role that the classroom environment has in contributing to student learning and morale. The fact is backed by research; no need to wonder if this is valuable time spent, rest assured that it IS.

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Our students in reading intervention often arrive in our classroom with a low morale after years of having difficulty breaking the code of reading while their peers seem to do so with ease. They need all the help and support they can get and not JUST in the form of the structured literacy lessons you teach.

Be confident in your hunch that the content of your classroom SPACE affects learning too. The time you spend decorating your room is worth every minute!

Printable Classroom Decoration to Welcome Students

Where do I START with classroom decor?

Start your year off on the right foot with a welcome banner. You’ll find this free and easy to print classroom printable decoration here on TpT, OR you can do the easy DIY version below. One of my mantras to success in my classroom decor is “color makes everything fun.” I try not to get too crazy and I do have a color palette. You need to love your space, too. I recommend choosing colors that are pleasing to you. Stick with a few colors and keep it at that. Can you tell I love blues, purples and greens?

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In my intervention classroom I’d hang a welcome banner on the whiteboard at the beginning of the year. It was the first thing students would see when they walked into the room. I also hung the banner during Open House and Back To School nights to welcome my parents into the intervention classroom. In my private reading intervention practice, the welcome banner is still the first thing students and families see when they enter. Now I leave this particular printable classroom decoration up all year, it brings cheer and reminds my students they are always welcome.

How Can I DIY Instead?

The picture below is one that my mom made many years ago and it has hung in my reading intervention classroom and office setting for years. I know people love their Cricuts and creating a welcome banner with one is another option. My Mom actually hand drew and cut out these letters, but we all know that a teacher’s time doesn’t allow for such luxuries!

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Use scrap paper and make this DIY classroom decoration yourself. I am always amazed at the range of beautifully printed papers available at Michael’s (do they have these stores near you?) for an inexpensive price. If you have a color scheme in your classroom, choose colors that reflect your scheme and alternate between a solid color and a print version of that color. Just hang on a string and viola! There you have it, an instant welcome for your reading intervention students!

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Printable Classroom Decoration to Celebrate Birthdays

What makes a student feel more special than recognition of his/her special day? Honestly, I’m not sure. I think recognizing student birthdays may be THE key! You’ll find a printable and EDITABLE classroom decoration for celebrating birthdays on this page. You can easily type in your students’ names and birthdays, print on colorful paper and there you have it!

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You can print and leave them blank for a fantastic Day 1 class activity. Students fill in their own name and birthday. This will help the students take ownership of their reading intervention space and feel a sense of belonging and pride. Get yours today here.

Looking for more ideas on how to celebrate student birthdays? Click here and read about personalized birthday cards to increase student teacher connections.

DIY Classroom Decoration to Celebrate Student Birthdays

You guessed it, flags on beautiful scrap paper! I love these for several reasons:

  1. They are so easy to make!
    • Choose a solid color and pattern scrapbook paper; alternate the two for aesthetics.
  2. They don’t take much time!
    • Easy to make many triangles at once
    • Keep several on hand for when you have new students enter your class during the year
  3. Great beginning of the year activity
    • Students love choosing their own color or pattern
    • They feel a part of the class from the start
  4. The finished banner is beautiful and cheerful
  5. You can leave it up from year to year
    • Students love to see their friends’ names up in their classroom.

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Classroom Printable Decorations for Organizing Student Materials

A must have for each of your reading intervention students is a binder! Those executive functioning skills need training and explicit teaching too! Your structured literacy lessons are essential for gaining literacy skills, but always remember these important life skills. Organizing is one of them.

A great activity for Day 1 is having students make their binder insert covers. These are for the binders with clear insert pockets on the front, which I highly recommend.

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Let your students use the editable binder insert pages found in this printable classroom decoration page. Type in student names, print and have students color them in. In addition, they can do a quick sketch to illustrate their favorite hobby or activity. Another GREAT day 1 activity!

Student binders are the first item my students grab when they enter the reading intervention room along with their stone jar, another secret sauce item you can read about here (see strategy #3). The binder includes a pencil pouch as well as tabs for lesson materials. Depending on how you teach, which programs you use, and grade levels, these tabs will change.

Organization is key and we must teach our students good habits around this skill. Having materials in one place and developing a routine around using and retrieving them will help your classroom run efficiently. Get these editable student binder covers here.

DIY Version

As a first day of class activity, have several colors of paper out on the table when your students arrive. Ask them to write their name and draw a picture of their favorite hobby or activity on the paper. Make sure they know that this will go in their personal binders as the binder cover for your class.

Students like to be able to choose their own color AND this gives you a way to get to know them a little better. Have them share, in complete sentences of course, about their choice of drawings. Pro tip: tell them it’s not an art project and give them 5 minutes to do the name writing and drawing task. Set a timer.

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Classroom Printable Decorations for your Reading Intervention: Picture Frames

Why in the world would you use framed pictures from the classroom printable decorations kit (coming soon!)? Well, let me tell you! This is a fantastic way to increase the social and emotional learning component of your reading intervention and it can be quite easy. It will help your students understand that they are not alone in their struggles.

Inside of the frames you’ll find pictures of famous people who have struggled in school. Some struggled specifically with dyslexia and others just generally struggled in school. Included are some task card sized info tags to help you discuss the challenges these people face or faced.

I encourage you to use the broad category of “people who struggled in school” when discussing this, because not all of our intervention students will be or have been diagnosed with any sort of disability, so they won’t necessarily relate to someone with the labels dyslexia, dyscalculia or ADHD. But they can ALL relate to struggling with academics.

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If you or a willing family member of a student also struggled in school, include those photos in your gallery! This helps alleviate any misconception that “ if you have dyslexia or a learning challenge you must also have some exceptional ability along with it.” This can inadvertently be the message when we talk about famous and exceptional people who struggled in school, but we want to make sure that students understand people of all walks struggle and can lead successful, content lives.

Hanging these pictures on the wall will invite student questions and open up dialogue about how many people have difficulty with the exact same things your students struggle with.

Fun DIY Alternative to the Printable Frames

If you know me by now, you know I love thrifting! Finding frames at the thrift stores that are different shapes and sizes is lots of fun! Print the photos from this great article found here all about famous people who have struggled in school, glue them on a colored backing, and viola! The frames alone invite that homey, comfortable feel in your classroom that can set your students at ease right away. Your students will love to come to reading intervention and they will begin to feel less alone from day1!

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Printable Room Decorations: Silly Sayings On Your Door

I always have one of these funny sayings on my door somewhere. They have so many benefits. Just by their silly nature, they are engaging and fun for your students and show them that you can be silly too. They encourage playing with sounds, as they often contain rhyme or alliteration. Often these sayings will contain one of the phonics patterns you are targeting and students will begin to notice it in their environmental print.

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You can easily print these and hang on your classroom door to add to your friendly environment. Change them out monthly and students will be delighted to discover the new saying each month and wow their friends on the playground as their silly goodbye bank expands. Find them here!

DIY Option for Classroom Door Decoration : Silly Sayings

I also do this DIY style. I love bright colors, and I like doing it banner style across the door. I use colorful butcher paper, hand write the saying in thick black marker, tear around the edges, laminate and hang. An added bonus is that they are good for years to come.

First Day of Class Ideas:

Use your Classroom Printable Decorations to Let Students to take Ownership of the Classroom

Not only do you want to get to know your students, but you want to make the environment they enter feel like it is their own. Your classroom decor is key in helping make this happen and you can easily start on the day your students first enter your room.

Below are some tips to get you started on the first day of class with your classroom decorations.

Have these items ready to go:

  1. Welcome sign hung
  2. Birthday banner hung with student names and birthdays on them
    • You can also print blank ones and have them fill in their name and b-day (especially with the older kids)
  3. Binder inserts printed and personalized
    1. Students draw a “quick sketch” of a hobby below their name and insert into their own binder
    2. OR just put out blank colored paper and let student write names and draw a picture of their favorite hobby
  4. Picture frames with famous people who have struggled in school hung on wall.
  5. Silly saying on your door

What else will you do for classroom decor that welcomes your students, creates a sense of belonging, increases morale and adds to their social emotional learning?

Beyond Printable Classroom Decorations to Build student Teacher Relationships

While these friendly and welcoming classroom design examples will create a feeling of warmth and belonging for your students, remember that you are the driver behind building positive relationships with them. You create the environment that makes your students feel welcomed and understood with your actions, your gestures and your language. This will truly make or break your year and if done well, it will increase your students’ success.

Consider this quote found here, at Education Week:

“A Review of Educational Research analysis of 46 studies found that strong teacher-student relationships were associated in both the short- and long-term with improvements on practically every measure schools care about: higher student academic engagement, attendance, grades, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates….”

It’s not JUST about the classroom decor, but about meaningful connection. Of course, the printable classroom decorations OR the DIY version of classroom decor will certainly help, but YOU are the driver. Use your own special sauce and connect with your students!

Are you a Classroom Printable Decorations Educator or a

DIY Classroom Decorations Educator?

Whichever kind of teacher you happen to be at the moment is just right, as long as you are connecting with and welcoming your students each day. Willing learners are the only learners!

Start with with your classroom printable decorationskit or use these DIY ideas and transform your reading intervention space today!

Cheers to empowering our struggling readers,

You may also be interested in this post on captivating ways to motivate your struggling readers.

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Classroom Printable Decorations and Creative DIY Tips for Reading Intervention - Literacy Lights (2024)


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