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3 Easy Changes to Improve Classroom Learning

I believe humans thrive because we have the most developed minds, not the most vigorous strength.

Most learning occurs in classrooms.

Most learning occurs in classrooms.

The Classroom Setting

We learn something new every day, and we can learn from almost anything, whether it is by watching documentaries, reading books, or talking to someone at our front door.

The best institution for learning is, of course, school. And the most important part of school is the classroom. In school, we are taught knowledge to prepare ourselves better for the long journey called life.

The classroom is where the teaching process is executed. If the classroom is not adequate for learning, it will be boring and undigestable for students. Schools can improve this key educational setting so that students will get what they need in the first place: learning.

Even subtle changes in the colors present in a classroom can improve learning and even athletic performance.

Even subtle changes in the colors present in a classroom can improve learning and even athletic performance.

Colors Matter

Psychologists have said that colors around you could influence your state of mind. Keeping that in mind, choosing the right color for the classroom’s surroundings will eventually benefit both the students and the teacher.

There is a study conducted by Melbourne University that reported restoration in a person’s focus when taking a break while enjoying green scenery. And another study showed that warm-colored placebo pills worked better as stimulants. Although some cultures give different meanings to colors, emotions provoked by colors are mostly the same.

Students can benefit from colors’ effects on small things, such as choosing the appropriate background for presentation or writing with different colors to improve learning processes.

Suit Yourself (Literally)

In the 2004 Athen Olympics, participants in different fighting competitions were given red or blue outfits randomly. Surprisingly, athletes wearing red won more events compared to the blue ones. Scientists concluded that the color red enhances competitive performance.

On the other hand, research revealed that buyers are more likely to spend more time shopping and purchasing items in stores with blue interiors than orange interiors. It may stem from the belief that the color blue is associated with calmness and a relaxing feeling.

Hence, students’ performance may improve by picking the right color for their activities. School chess teams should benefit from wearing blue apparel and gadgets. But the basketball team will achieve exceptional results while wearing red.

The traditional row layout of classrooms may not be ideal for teaching or learning.

The traditional row layout of classrooms may not be ideal for teaching or learning.

Desk Placement Is Crucial

Desks are traditionally laid out in rows or columns in classrooms. The row model focuses on teacher-based activities, such as presenting, instructing, and giving examples. It is easy and doesn’t require much space. Those benefits make the row model the most widely used classroom arrangement.

However, there are some problems with this arrangement because it creates distance between the teacher and their students. This positioning also discourages group activities and made students prone to losing focus easily.

The teacher could teach the lessons the same way, but with different results because of desk arrangement. The teacher must be able to choose the correct layout to get the most effective results.

Rows/ColumnsU-ShapeClusters

Focusing on individual works

Natural layout for discussion

Recommended arrangement for small groups

Easier supervision

Ample room for presentations

Supportive environment for students' interaction

Discourages group work

Not preferable for small groups

Decreased productivity

Unequal interaction between students and the teacher

Could be difficult to control students directly

Harder to access individual ability

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Let’s look at science lessons, for example. These subjects require understandable instruction and less interactivity than others. Therefore, a teacher may choose to arrange the class into rows for everyday science lessons and change it to a semi-circle or U-shape for labs.

Subjects like Physical Education, however, need less theory in the teaching process. Choosing the row models may also be unwise since, in this subject, the students benefit more from asking questions and interacting. For this kind of class, it is clear that the semi-circle works best.

The truth is, there is no perfect classroom layout. A classroom model may be fruitful or unsuccessful in different conditions. For the students’ growth, educators should be able to know what is appropriate.

Storytelling can improve the classroom learning environment.

Storytelling can improve the classroom learning environment.

Storytelling Works Wonders

There are tons of benefits to storytelling. Storytelling creates a more personal interaction with students, and all learners could surely benefit from it.

Integrating storytelling into everyday teaching is simple. The most basic but effective form of storytelling is using your personal story. Teachers could talk about the moment they felt stuck on chapters or topics and how they found the solution. It may inspire their students and boost their confidence, so they can give that little push to achieve their goals.

No matter what kind of story a teacher chooses, they should be able to use humor, gestures, or even props if needed to make the experience more effective for their students.

Stories Always Do the Trick

Storytelling is good for students. Giving tasks to students with storytelling topics is beneficial. In this way, students will improve their public speaking skills as well as story-making abilities.

It may also break the ice in many situations. If the class is too nervous, the teachers could tell a somewhat embarrassing story. It may take some pride to do that, but it is helpful to break the tension. Students could also write their own funny personal stories anonymously, and the teacher could share those stories with the class.

Storytelling should be utilized more since it has so many benefits for both the student and the teacher. If teachers feel that they don’t have enough time to use storytelling, they can mix in stories with lessons or integrate them into exams.

Start With Small Changes

Improving classrooms can be done in incremental steps. Teachers don’t need to start with the big changes and only then move to more narrow modifications down the road. For particular cases, that could be the solution, but it may not be wise to implement changes so quickly. Just like the saying: slow and steady wins the race.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.