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Decorating your classroom to make it a fun, interesting and stimulating working environment is a fantastic part of being a teacher. It is important to remember that having a classroom that allows children to feel comfortable, safe and inspired can have a huge impact on how they interact, engage, respond and learn
They not only give pupils something to engage with but they also encourage them to feel pride in their work, and show that their work is of value. Displays are also a great way to demonstrate to parents what work has been undertaken and will show off your creativity and passion as a teacher. But where do you start?
Making your classroom a creative and inspiring working environment is easier than you think and there are plenty of classroom resources to help you on your way! Sometimes you simply just need a great idea to get your creative juices flowing! Read on for 5 handy tips on how to make your classroom fun and interesting.
1. Thumb rules of class
Now while this may sound a bit strange at first, this is actually a great way of getting children to engage. Ask them to come up with their own class rules. How should they treat each other? What kind of behavior is correct while dealing with a classmate? Asking these questions and making children a part of decisions will encourage them to own the responsibility to follow the same. They will feel their contribution is valuable.
You can then all have fun writing these rules together and putting them up on the wall. It’s also a great thing to refer to if a student begins to misbehave, as you can remind them that these were the rules they came up with together and everyone agreed to follow them!
They have little say in what the topics are (that's usual for most formal education) and the exact same assignments are given to everyone. It's not surprising there is little enthusiasm for such "one size fits all" approaches.
We are all creative, and we all enjoy being creative, but in most school systems creativity is discouraged.
2. Displays to know each other:
These are great if you have a new class, where perhaps the children don’t know each other.
You can get each of them to put their hand prints on a large piece of paper, write their names and three interesting things about themselves. Then you can put this up on the wall to show what a diverse and exciting class you have under one roof.
Or you can put student's photographs on chart paper and write their names and their birthdays. Creativity has no end,
3. Learning displays
Whatever it is you are teaching there will always be part of your lesson that you can turn into a creative task.
Children love making things and so why not engage them by getting them to make a timeline of history, a colorful times table board, or a map of the different countries in the world? Interactive learning is really effective, and having this up on the wall will also act as a handy reminder for children as well.
Most teachers act on what they see and adjust their instruction to try to engage all of their students. However, no matter how hard teachers work at making it interesting, a lecture is still a lecture, and having students simply listen is still a passive action. The solution is simple: If a teacher wants to increase student engagement, then the teacher needs to increase student activity -- ask the students to do something with the knowledge and skills they have learned. Break up the lecture with learning activities. Let them practice. Get them moving. Get them talking. Make it so engaging that it will be difficult for students not to participate.
The ultimate engagement is to put the learner in charge of learning. Create a rich learning environment and a motivation to learn, and the students do all the hard work of learning, while the teacher merely facilitates. It sounds so easy.
I do not minimize the hard work involved in creating those rich learning scenarios, custom-made motivators and engaging learning content. And it is a bit risky. Sometimes it works like a charm, and other times it would have been better to assign seat work. But we keep trying, improving, and enhancing until we get it right.
5. Find online resources and get creative!
You can find anything from free classroom displays, to how to make glorious primary classroom times table bunting, as well as handy tips and advice on how to get your classroom looking great.
6. Recognition strategy:
Having a reward system up on the wall is a brilliant incentive for children to behave. It gives them something to stay focused on, and to work towards.
You can start with student of the month system in which based on some predecided criteria we can choose a student. And paste his picture on the wall.
Even something as simple as a gold star system will help children learn that good behavior will be rewarded, which (hopefully!) will make them want to do it more!