When it comes to designing creative learning spaces, there are a lot of things to consider. Although you are working with limited space (and budget), by following the basic principles of learning-friendly design, you too can create a learning environment that will inspire your students to work together and learn. Here is how you can transform your classroom into a functional and engaging learning environment.
First and foremost, declutter your classroom. It is one of the best and simplest ways to change it and discover its true potential. The main purpose of learning spaces is to provide learning content for students, and if the items in your classroom do not directly impact learning, consider removing those objects altogether. Too much visual clutter can mentally exhaust your students, which completely defeats the purpose of a classroom. Simplification is the key to creating intellectually engaging learning spaces, so eliminate anything that isn’t impactful or supporting, thus making it easier for your students to visually process their learning environment.
The classroom is like a second home to your students, so you need to make sure that their learning environment reflects that. Incorporating small details will help your students develop a feeling of familiarity, and the second they enter the classroom, they will feel comfortable and relaxed. Brighten things up a bit with personalized kids name labels and a range of colorful stationery. They’ll help keep your classroom organized while giving your students a sense of belonging, making their school items seem extra special. Also, be sure to label everyday items in your classroom to create a practical learning environment.
Another way to make your classroom more engaging is to offer choices to your students in terms of seating. By simply rearranging your existing classroom furniture, you can easily create flexible seating that will work for everyone. Whether you decide to introduce rows, clusters, or “boardroom” type of seating is completely up to you. Think about the activities as well. For example, if there are a lot of group discussions, go with a circular or U-shaped desk configuration. The point is to find a classroom layout that works best for you and your students, thus optimizing your classroom seating arrangement.
When designing a learning space, teachers tend to introduce all seven colors of the rainbow, making their classrooms look like bags of Skittles. Colors affect our perception of space, and if there are too many colors in one room, it can be perceived as too distracting, completely opposite of what a classroom should be. Instead of taking that route, opt for something more subtle. Opt for neutral colors as a base – warm beige, light gray, and creamy white are all great color choices, which you can mix with two additional colors that will make the classroom more vibrant and lively.
The best way to make sure that your students enjoy their learning environment is to ask them for suggestions. Your students are the best source of information when it comes to making changes in the classroom as they will name the things that they don’t like in their classroom or things that don’t really aid the learning. Be sure to remove any objects that your students perceive as visual noise – those are the items that are taking up valuable space without having a purpose. Eliminate those and replace them with things that will serve your students the best way possible.
There you have it – five tips for making the most of your learning space. Use these tips as a guide for organizing your classroom to ensure maximum student engagement. Work with the space you’ve got, put your imagination and creativity to work and create a classroom your students will love – the sky is the limit!
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