As a teacher, student engagement is an essential element of success—though captivating their attention may be easier said than done. Thankfully, seasoned educators have pinned down helpful approaches to help foster an environment of involvement and inclusion in the classroom.
Many hopeful teachers turn to design thinking—an iterative process aimed at problem-solving, innovative teaching methods, and out-of-the-box thinking. When applied correctly, this modern method inspires creativity and encourages students to seek help when they need it.
Ultimately, engaging with students requires educators to remain flexible to student needs and create classroom spaces that encourage participation, growth, and comfort. However, it can be challenging to delve into classroom design without a compass pointing you toward ergonomic setups.
If you’re looking to revamp your classroom and maximize student engagement, read on for helpful design tips to help you create a comfortable, focus-forward learning environment.
Make use of wall space
One way to draw in student attention is by making good use of wall space with a mix of exciting, informational, and practical decorations. Between helpful equation charts, funny quotes, and stimulating color schemes, covering classroom walls create a more comfortable, inviting environment.
Ultimately, quality decorations from providers like Sproutbrite can go a long way in fostering an environment of encouragement and learning.
Make your classroom active
Designing your classroom to encourage students to move around is an excellent approach for educators hoping to amp up student engagement. Allowing your students to stand and stretch during lectures can stimulate their minds and bodies, a perfect duo for learning.
Children have a natural urge to move—though it’s common practice to discourage fidgeting in class. Instead of forcing antsy students to sit still and suffer, consider integrating furniture that allows your students to bounce, rock, or even rotate to shake off any restlessness.
Or, consider Incorporating movement into your classroom by allowing flexible seating or taking a jumping jack break can encourage participation and rid students of in-class jitters.
Rearrange the desks
Is your classroom designed in a traditional row and column setup? If yes, consider changing your structure to a non-traditional design and watch engagement skyrocket. When planning your classroom design, place desks in groups, prioritizing flexibility and collaboration between students. Additionally, allow your students to rearrange their seating depending on the situation to foster a sense of community and comfort.
Using portable furniture is an excellent option for educators who switch seats consistently, so look for lightweight tables and chairs with wheels for easy maneuverability.
Make your classroom accessible
Every child deserves the opportunity to learn, so designing your classroom with accessibility in mind is critical to ensuring students receive the best education possible. Keep your classroom organized, easy to navigate, and always be available to anyone who needs additional support.
Each of your students will have unique needs, so you need to evaluate them individually and aim for classroom designs that cater to as many kids as possible. By creating an open and comfortable space, abiding by accessibility codes, and fostering an environment of communication, you increase the chance of student success.
Add natural lighting
In addition to being unsightly, industrial lighting can also interfere with students’ ability to focus and learn. By swapping out buzzing, harsh fluorescents with softer, natural lights, your classroom will be a place of ambiance and calm.
Additionally, ridding your class of distracting lighting can make it easier for those with sensory sensitivity or disabilities to concentrate without anxiety-inducing humming sounds.
Though the ideal setup is a classroom with open windows, allowing for bright, natural sunlight to grace the room, soft-white light bulbs can do the trick for window-less spaces.
Technology has seen several advancements in the modern era, specifically regarding education and learning. It’s in the best interests of your students for you to take advantage of helpful techs like tablets, smartboards, and online sites.
Technology integration can stimulate curiosity and inspire a drive to study. With the digital world at one’s fingertips, limitless information makes learning more exciting and accessible than physical databases.
Furthermore, technology integration promotes inclusive classrooms by allowing students to progress at their own pace. Some students will use technology to build on their preexisting knowledge, while others will use it as a tool to catch up with their classmates.
Ultimately, embracing forward-thinking educational tech can transform your classroom into a space for collaboration, innovation, and curiosity.
Add a pop of color
When designing a classroom, take note of colors that stimulate learning and brighten the space to create a welcoming atmosphere. Though too many variations and color concoctions may be distracting, a pop of color here and there can change the class’s tone, inviting students to stay lighthearted and enjoy their time learning.
Being an exceptional educator means catering your style to your students, meeting their needs, and fostering an environment of curiosity and collaboration. Designing a classroom to enhance your teaching mission and bring your students together is critical for successful learning.