One of the best ways to solicit academic success in your classroom is by committing to creating an excellent learning environment for your students. There are many things that you can do to achieve this, so don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite, tried-and-true tips to create a pleasant learning environment for kids.
Here are twenty ways you can start doing today to enhance your students’ learning environment.
20 Ways to Create a Good Learning Environment for Kids
1. Minimize Clutter
One of the worst things you can do if you want to create an excellent learning environment for kids is to have a cluttered classroom. Clutter is bothersome to both teachers and students, which can contribute to low achievement and higher levels of stress and anxiety across the board.
Take a day or two to minimize any clutter in your workspace and commit to keeping everything in its respected place once you have done this.
2. Ban Mobile Devices
Distractions are your worst enemy in a learning environment. This is because distracted students absorb less information, are less apt to pay attention in class, and, therefore, will likely have lower grades and test scores. One of the significant sources of distraction for many kids is mobile devices.
You should create a policy that bans all personal cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices once the class is in session. This gives students a structured time where you have their undivided attention to teach them the objectives they need to know to graduate.
3. Use Fun Decorations
One easy way to make the learning environment fun for kids is by using colorful decorations in your classroom. Kids who are excited to come to class are more apt to pay attention and stay motivated to complete their assignments. It’s also a great idea to include kids on how the classroom should be decorated – think changing things out based on what you’re learning about or the seasons.
4. Keep it Positive
You should always maintain a positive attitude in class if you hope to create a pleasant learning environment for kids. This is because your attitude is contagious; if you exude happiness and positivity, you are much more likely to get that in return. Conversely, if you are monotonous and careless, you will likely see low achievement among your students.
5. Interactive Games and Activities
Playing interactive games and activities is a great way to get kids involved in their learning environment. On the first day of school, consider playing icebreaker games to get everyone acquainted with one another and start building a team relationship. As the year goes on, you can continue this strategy by doing team-building activities periodically.
6. Use Humor in Class
There’s no doubt about it – everyone loves to laugh. So, why not use that to your advantage in the classroom? Using humor is a wonderful way to connect with your students and keep them engaged in learning at school. Don’t be afraid to make a joke here and there to encourage positivity and productivity in the classroom.
7. Go Paperless
Having stacks of paperwork can be stressful for both teachers and students. With so many technological advancements in today’s world, there’s no need to deal with this. Sign up for online document sharing platforms that allow you to go completely paperless. This way, students can lose homework, and everything they need to do is all safe in one easily accessible place.
8. Get on Social Media
Social media is one of the most popular places that students connect today. Using this as a tool to communicate with your students from outside of the classroom helps foster an excellent learning environment inside of it. Try creating a Facebook or Instagram page for your classroom where you can share encouraging quotes, updates, and even assignments and test reminders in a less formal setting.
9. Build Positive Parent Relationships
Parents are an integral part of their children’s’ lives. Consequently, it makes sense that building a positive relationship can be a big help when it comes to the learning environment inside the classroom. Teachers who have actionable relationships with parents can better connect with their students, making it possible to create a more significant difference in their lives, as well.
10. Practice Using Inclusive Language
If you want to have an excellent learning environment in your classroom, you need to make your students a priority. Using inclusive language is a great way to set a positive tone. For instance, saying the word “friends” instead of “students” would constitute inclusive language. This language helps kids feel a part of a group rather than in a class full of children who are different from them.
11. Greet Students at the Door
A good learning environment starts before class is ever in session. Greeting students at the door with a high-five or even just a smile can set the tone for a great learning environment each day. Just remember to ask students how they prefer to be greeted upfront since some kids might not want to make skin contact or would instead enter quietly.
12. Seek Out Support
You must remember you have a support system around you within your school. Your colleagues and co-workers are a great resource for you to use whenever you need a helping hand or a piece of advice. Think of your school community like your family, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help or support.
13. Create a Classroom Newsletter
Staying connected with students and parents is one of the easiest ways you can foster a positive learning environment in your classroom. However, that can get tricky at times with schedules and workloads to deal with. An easy solution to this problem is creating a classroom newsletter. This can be used to share valuable information, provide updates and reminders, and stay in touch with your students and their families.
14. Create an Online Blog
Similar to a newsletter, an online blog is a great tool you can use to stay connected to your classmates and their families. This offers a free, instant-access way for you to share information across the internet. Some blogs also allow you to interact in real-time, which is beneficial for everyone.
15. Start with Relationships, Not Academics
It can be tempting to jump right into coursework at the beginning of class, but that isn’t always the best approach. By instead shifting your focus to the relationship you have with your students, you can better create a positive learning environment. Take the first few minutes of class to talk to your students, catch up on what’s going on in their lives, and show interest in their well-being. This helps contribute to stronger teacher-student bonds, which also enhances your learning environment.
16. Stay Optimistic
Having a positive outlook is essential to a good learning environment. This means that no matter what, you must try your hardest to remain optimistic. It can be discouraging to struggle with balancing your learning environment, but these problems will not last forever. Always be on the hunt for the silver lining, and you will be in good shape.
17. Positive Reinforcement
One of the quickest ways to kill a good learning environment is having a bad attitude in class. And for many teachers, frustration can rear its ugly head when students are misbehaving. If you find yourself struggling with maintaining a calm composure when kids are acting out, try shifting your behavioral management mindset. Instead of punishing bad behaviors, instead, place a particular emphasis on positive reinforcement. You might be surprised at the difference it makes in your learning environment overall.
18 Give Good and Honest Feedback
It can be easy to forget that kids can be very intuitive creatures. Providing bogus feedback is one of the quickest ways to break down relationships in classrooms and ruin learning environments. This doesn’t mean that you have to deliver negative feedback, necessarily. It just means that you should be honest.
If a child turns in an art project that misses the mark, don’t simply opt for “Good Job!” Your student knows the quality of their work and will be able to sense your lack of integrity. Instead, try offering constructive feedback such as directions to add shading or more color.
19. Be Objective, Not Accusatory
When dealing with misbehaving, avoid being accusatory to students when confronting them. Instead, open the conversation by asking each party to tell their side of the story. Then, you can use a diplomatic approach to help diffuse the situation and have a discussion about future expectations that will prevent the occurrence from happening again.
20. Remember to Take Time to Recharge
When you’re working on creating a good learning environment for kids, it can be easy to neglect yourself. It might not seem like a lot of hard work, but it most certainly can be. You must remember to keep your cup full by practicing self-care and taking plenty of time to recharge. And don’t wait until you’re so overwhelmed that you can’t stand it, either. Recharge early and often for the best results overall.
Creating a Good Learning Environment for Kids
Creating a good learning environment for kids can be approached from many different angles. Luckily, there are plenty of easy, actionable steps that you can take to make this happen. Whether you’re interacting on social media or creating an online database where kids can interact and connect, you can optimize the learning environment in your classroom. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help, either.
You have all the tools you need to get started right in your back pocket, so start making changes today!