A Learning-Friendly Environment
An environment that promotes learning is one that is free of disorganization, distractions, and disruptions. While you cannot control everything, there are simple steps that can be taken to create a more effective learning experience for your students.
While your personality may lend itself to clutter, disorganization, and messes, it is proven that children learn better in a well-maintained and structured environment. Effective filing systems keep papers off your desk and facilitate the prompt location of needed forms and worksheets. Lesson materials collected in advance allow smooth transitions from activity to activity. Organizational helpers like bins, totes, and plastic drawer systems keep common areas ordered and allow for easy maintenance. Additionally, a few extra minutes spent straightening and organizing at the end of the day can go a long way to maintaining a positive learning space free of clutter and disorder. Desk placement is key to eliminating potential distractions. Keep students out of areas that see a lot of foot traffic including near the classroom door or supply areas. This will give them fewer opportunities to visit or watch the events going on around them, and more time to focus on their work. Another good rule of thumb for classroom floor plans is to ensure that every student is able to see you and any visual aids you might use to supplement the lesson material. If you have to, sit in each desk personally to gauge visibility.
We’ve only covered disorganization and distractions. Check out Jennifer Wagaman’s article on how to design lessons plans for preventing disruptions and you’ll be well on your way to a more effective classroom!
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