More Ideas to Create a Classroom Atmosphere for Learning Styles Pt.2

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Here are some more ideas to make your classroom more conducive to the learning styles.

The classroom has far more hard spaces than it does soft spaces so let’s take a moment to look at how some hard spaces fit into the day.

 Many newer classrooms have counter space. Some have moveable cabinets and some have stationary ones around the edges of the room. Of course we think to use these with space management in mind, but consider how they can help a student.

Set out the manipulatives for the day so students can see what is available to use. I know many teachers who use centers and if you are one of those teachers the manipulatives are probably out for the day. Upper grades don’t use centers as often so they need to think about aiding the students in this area. If your drawers or bins are clearly marked with the materials they hold then you may not need to use your counter space in this manner.

If you have high counters, you might want to think about allowing students to stand at the counter and work. This is helpful if a student refers to a helping poster in your room for the lesson. It puts them in proximity to the poster and gives them ample space to work. Some of your more fidgety student may just need a change in their routine and standing gets the blood flowing. Remember, movement is good for blood flow to the brain.

Allow students to work on the floor, laid out on their bellies or possibly leaning against one of the counters with a lap pad.

  • I had a counter high cabinet with a long top drawer; the drawer held some of my math manips and was opened after the lesson for use.Two of my boys sat under the drawer but were out-of-the-way of students walking up to grab items from the drawer. I believe this gave them a sense of privacy, the feeling of lowering the ceiling gave them a comfortable space to work. 
  • I had another one of my boys lay on the floor to take his tests. We had a discussion on how to reduce test anxiety and this was his way. He faced away from the class and it made him feel at ease and able to work within his own time frame.
  •  My only suggestions is to not let them work under the desks, it is not a good space, it is too cramped, and does not lend to good lighting.

Be sure to allow students the use of floor space that is designated for group time for individual and small group work too. This is probably common among most of us, we know the kids like the floor space and so we open it up to give space to the kids as they work.

In the next post I will finish up space around the room and add in a few other tips for your room and students.

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