This is a question that many parents and teachers ask themselves, in a bid to optimise the learning potential for their students, and if you are a person who doesn’t think the immediate environment makes any difference, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, the environment plays a critical role in student learning, and with that in mind, here are a few aspects of a good classroom.
- Adequate & Suitable Resources – The classroom should have lots of educational resources – early learning programs have corners that are filled with wooden blocks, educational toys and all kinds of games and activities. Young children should be surrounded with natural materials if possible, as this helps the learners to understand how nature plays a part in our everyday lives.
- Soft Pastel Colours – Pale blues, greens or pinks are ideal colours for a classroom, and, of course, the walls should be covered with student work – a constant reminder of their abilities. Bright colours should be avoided, as they tend to distract the children, and when thinking classroom layout, make sure there is enough space to move around.
- Climate Control – The room should be a comfortable temperature, with some ventilation and enough natural light to engage in activities. Direct sunlight should not enter a classroom, so you will need either blinds or curtains, which help you to find the right light level.
- Whiteboard – The classroom should have a whiteboard, which all of the students can clearly see from their location, and the board is used in many ways – drawing diagrams, writing homework assignments and used in the lessons to help explain or describe things. You could, of course, make do with a blackboard, although they are somewhat dated.
- Quiet – It is never a good idea to teach when there’s a lot of exterior noise, as this affects concentration, and if the windows are double glazed, this should keep out loud noise.
- Foldable Chairs – This would, of course, be ideal, as you can then use the floor for activities, and if the chairs are not the folding type, you would hopefully have access to a suitable space where you and your students can sit in a circle and interact.
- IT Solutions – If you have a computer in one corner, with Internet access, then Google can be used whenever the students wish to know something. By teaching students to use search engines to source information, you are teaching them how to self-learn, which is invaluable. Of course, this would not be recommended for very young children in kindergarten or nursery. But as soon as they reach the age of 7, they can interact with IT.
If you plan to home school and are thinking about your ideal layout, there are online suppliers of all kinds of learning equipment, so you can design your very own classroom that is both functional and suitable. If your proposed learning space has all of the above, then you are to be commended and effective learning should occur in a well-balanced environment.