Classrooms - Less is More
When it comes to the classroom environment, less is more.
These days with Instagram and pinterest there seems to be an evergrowing competition regarding making the coolest themed classroom and I have seen some great classrooms; however make sure you scale it down and don’t go too crazy.
I have walked into many classrooms over the years to observe children who are having behavioural, attentional or learning issues and when I walk into their classroom environment I feel overwhelmed. Bright colours everywhere, things hanging down so far from the ceiling that you have to do the grapevine to get around the classroom.
I’ve been into a classroom to observe why a child is unable to copy from the board, only to sit in their chair (at the back of the class) and have half my view of the board blocked by hanging artwork.
I have heard things like ‘I can’t change the environment just because one child is having trouble’ and ‘this is what kindy/pre-primary classrooms are like’…….
AND I WANT TO KNOW WHY? WHY ARE NOT ALL YOUR STUDENTS IMPORTANT? WHY DO YOU FEEL THE CHANGES WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE OTHER STUDENTS? WHY HAS VISUAL CHAOS BECOME THE NORM?
As an adult if you need to study what do you do? Where to you go? How do you set up your environment?
The answer is; we set ourselves up in a quiet space with decreased visual distractions with just the tools we need in front of us.
Children are having to use significant cognitive effort everyday to learn all of the new information presented to them; and the teacher/content is competing with a lot of craziness in the classroom.
So even if some children appear to be coping, is the busy/bright/cluttered classroom the best learning environment for them?
Please, please, please scale it back a bit, as I for one have trouble handling some classrooms I walk into and I’m a grown adult with mild sensory processing difficulties.