The best time to make some changes to your classroom is before the school year starts. August is all about starting with a clean slate. That extends to your learning space.
Here are some things you should consider to really modernize your students’ environment.
Can everything move?
If you’re a desks-in-rows teacher, now is the time to reconsider. Everything is about collaboration and active learning. Key to those ideas is students having the ability to move around the room—with or without their furniture.
This also has benefits to your teaching. For the times when you want some whole-group instruction, desks and chairs can be grouped together. If you want students to work in small groups or individually, that’s possible as well. You can add a lot of lessons to your toolbox with just a little movement.
In the past, it was thought that uncomfortable spaces would help keep students awake. It turns out that the only thing that can do that is an engaging lesson, so you might as well make your space comfortable. Look into chairs with cushions, pillows, and other pieces that can make your classroom somewhere that students want to spend time in.
The devices students are using take up a lot of power, and kids aren’t usually very good at budgeting. This leads to a constant need to charge their learning tools. Make sure there are plenty of outlets available for student use and that they are properly surge-protected. New furniture products even come with outlets built-in, reflecting the importance technology has in education.
Multiple spaces for multiple tasks
While working in small groups or individually, the needs of the students might be different. Some might need to brainstorm using a white board. Others might just want a quiet corner in which to study. One group might even need to use your presentation setup. Organizing your room in such a way that these tasks can be accommodated all at once can go a long way toward collaboration and 21st century skills.
It doesn’t take much to turn a dated, rigid classroom into a space that can accommodate today’s more modern ways of teaching and learning. A space like this can make everyone’s tasks more fulfilling—both yours and your students’.