You don’t have to be a teacher long to realize that a room full of desks does not always translate into a great study environment.
Creating a classroom in which students can engage intellectually is not rocket science, but does require a bit of forethought.
If you’re having trouble getting students into a studying groove, there are a few simple things you can do.
Give Your Day Some Structure
When kids know what to expect throughout the day, they feel more secure and relaxed. For example, after a long group activity you might set aside ten minutes of quiet time for studying, coloring, or resting. When the ten minutes were over, kids will be ready to get back to work.
If your outer world is a reflection of your inner one, then a messy classroom sends the message that you’re frazzled or unorganized. Be sure to have a place for everything. You can even enlist a few classroom helpers to help assist you in keeping things tidy. Students should know where everything is, where they are allowed to go, and what materials they can use freely.
Provide Them with What They Need
Every student is going to need something different over the course of their time with you. Perhaps they need a pencil and paper, books to complete their research, or access to technology. Make sure these resources are within easy reach, and establish norms for moving around the room without having to request permission. This frees you up to support kids who need one on one attention. Make sure you can provide different students with the right amount of attention and help as well.
When a classroom smells funky, is too cluttered, or doesn’t flow in design, it can be distracting and uncomfortable. Air fresheners can help, but they’re often loaded with chemicals. An essential oil diffuser stocked with scents like lemon, orange, peppermint, or rosemary serve two purposes. Not only do the scents mask unpleasant odors, but certain doTERRA oils are also excellent for improving concentration.
Take Brain Breaks
Students often have to remain seated for long periods of the day. They are asked to remain silent and absorb information. If you’re having a marathon study-session or you’re doing complex work as a group, remember to take breaks. Sites like GoNoodle are great for brain breaks for young kids. You can lead older students in some simple stretches, and encourage them to recharge before diving into work again.
By keeping students comfortable and making them feel welcome in the classroom, they can leave their worries at the door and focus. A clean and inviting classroom where their needs are met paves the way for productive study time.