Creating Dynamic Learning Environments that Support Student Engagement and Wellness


How can educators generate deeply engaging classroom environments—the type exactly where students are so engrossed in their mastering they do not want to leave when the bell rings? How can educators support students keep properly?

There are several components necessary to create this type of atmosphere. It begins with a properly-skilled instructor and content that is straight relevant to students’ lives. Teachers also will need lessons that are hugely motivating and activities that place students in charge of their personal mastering. Student engagement can support assistance student wellness, which is now more essential than ever.

But the style of the mastering space also matters. In reality, research shows that mastering space style can have a massive effect—either fantastic or bad—on what instruction appears like in that space and how helpful it is for students. “Flexible learning spaces provide learning environments that foster self-regulation, collaboration and interaction, while ensuring their wellbeing.” (Karlippanon, et al., 2018).

Why You Should Create Dynamic Learning Environments in your Schools

A mastering atmosphere that leads to wealthy, dynamic instruction ought to be dynamic itself. It ought to be versatile and malleable, conveniently adapted to meet diverse mastering and social emotional requires. This can not be performed with a static, inflexible mastering space that can not conveniently be changed.

Here are 3 compelling factors to generate dynamic mastering environments in your schools:

1 – They assistance more helpful teaching and mastering.

Dynamic mastering environments can take what ever shape or kind very best supports the mastering ambitions teachers are attempting to achieve that day.

For instance, possibly you want to have a deep, Socratic-style discussion of the content, and so you want students to be capable to see every other conveniently. With a dynamic mastering atmosphere, you could conveniently arrange students’ desks or chairs to face every other in a circle. This similar arrangement can be used to foster a secure space for students to make relationships and connections.

Another day, you may want students to collaborate on group projects. Again, a dynamic mastering atmosphere enables you to do this by configuring the desks in smaller groups with versatile seating. Whatever arrangement of the space you will need to assistance the day’s activities, you can conveniently generate.

2 – They get little ones excited to understand.

We want students to be excited about mastering when they enter the classroom. Seeing the desks arranged in neat rows just about every day when they stroll into the space could not inspire them. However, a dynamic mastering atmosphere mixes items up and keeps instruction fresh. Your brain loves novelty, so switching up the atmosphere engages the brain.

3 – They assistance a wide selection of mastering requires.

Teachers know properly that no two students are the similar. Every youngster has diverse mastering requires, preferences, interests, and skills. The pandemic even brought on new challenges for each students and teachers.

Rather than taking a “one size fits all” method to the furnishings in the space and the kind of instruction that happens there, a dynamic mastering atmosphere is significantly far better suited to accommodating these diverse requires and preferences. A dynamic mastering space can conveniently transform and adapt to meet the evolving requires of students, what ever these may be.

Features of a Dynamic Learning Environment that Support Wellness

What does a dynamic mastering atmosphere appear like? At School Specialty, we’ve identified essential components that make mastering spaces more dynamic and capable of supporting the sorts of teaching and mastering you want in your schools. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has identified seven principles for trauma informed education practices. These practices can carry more than into the atmosphere.

Wellness spaces can be made use of for teachers and students alike

1 – Understand Trauma &amp Stress

Educators have discovered significantly about the influence of trauma and anxiety by way of the pandemic. One of the positive items to come out of the pandemic was that students became more autonomous learners in the shift to remote instruction. That’s thrilling, due to the fact when students are in handle of their mastering, they’re more invested in their education and more motivated to succeed.

A dynamic mastering atmosphere can make on this sense of autonomy by providing little ones a lot of alternatives in exactly where to sit and the kind of seating they can opt for—like a common chair, a wobble stool, a standing desk, or soft seating. This aids them take ownership more than the mastering procedure, top to deeper engagement.

2 – Safety and Predictability

We want students to be comfy as they understand, due to the fact this aids them understand more efficiently. When students had been mastering from residence through the pandemic, they located all sorts of inventive areas to understand. I’ve heard stories of little ones who discovered when sitting on their bed, beneath a tree, or even in a hot tub.

Learning remotely permitted students to discover the spot exactly where they felt most comfy and inspired to understand. It also produced some teachers rethink irrespective of whether students actually necessary to be sitting at a desk all day when in college.

Giving students a selection of seating alternatives aids them “find their place” inside the classroom as properly. Because some students are sensitive to particular forms of supplies, dynamic mastering environments really should offer you seating alternatives with diverse fabrics and surface forms. To make certain students can work comfortably when they’re seated, the tables, desks, and chairs really should be ergonomically made and age-proper (Wingrat, K., &amp Exner, C., 2005).

You may look at height-adjustable desks and tables to generate a comfy work atmosphere for students, enabling them to raise or reduced their desks to the precise height they will need to be productive.

3 – Cultural Humility &amp Responsiveness

Children understand social cues from adults. Without the capacity to study non-verbal cues from adults and other kids, this mastering was impacted. The furnishings in a dynamic mastering atmosphere really should be agile adequate to use in several approaches. Movable furnishings on casters and modular desks and tables that match collectively in many geometric configurations permit for more dynamic mastering to take place. By producing an atmosphere that is agile, this guarantees students can study non-verbal cues from each their peers and teachers.

Another aspect of versatility is getting furnishings that can serve numerous purposes simultaneously, such as tabletops that double as writing surfaces or maker tables with built-in storage. Multipurpose environments can also permit schools to repurpose a space for an following college occasion, such as bringing in neighborhood sources to help households.

4 – Compassion and Dependability

Dynamic mastering spaces really should facilitate student-teacher interaction, as properly as collaboration among students. When students interact in healthful approaches, they understand to rely on 1 yet another and understand to show compassion.

When students speak about the content with other folks, they’re exposed to new tips they hadn’t thought of ahead of. Working collaboratively, students can co-construct new know-how and arrive at a deeper understanding of the subject than they may have by themselves. Collaborative mastering also teaches students essential workforce expertise like teamwork and communication.

Learning spaces can assistance helpful collaboration by making use of mobile desks and tables that conveniently can be arranged into versatile group sizes.

5 – Resilience and Social-Emotional Learning

A mix of colors, textures, and supplies that encourage pondering and exploration creates an inviting space that gets students excited to understand. The challenges they have skilled through the pandemic have renewed the focus on social emotional mastering. Trauma impacts our capacity to regulate feelings, alter behavior, compromise interpersonal expertise.

There really should be possibilities for students to move about as properly. Studies show a clear connection among movement and achievement. Movement increases students’ blood flow to their brains. In turn, students really feel more alert, happier, and can focus more efficiently on their mastering.

Outdoor Learning Space

To facilitate movement, classrooms really should contain a lot of open spaces, such as wide walkways among desks and tables. Schools really should also look at making use of furnishings that enables for movement as students are working, such as wobble stools that allow them to rock back and forth or standing desks that allow them to stretch their legs.

6 – Empowerment and Collaboration

Another positive improvement to come out of the pandemic is that it encouraged teachers to discover new approaches to instruction, like on the web tools and sources that can boost student mastering. Many schools bought Chromebooks or other digital devices to facilitate remote instruction, and now that students are back in college, these devices can continue to assistance mastering. Teachers collaborated with their peers in their personal college and expanded their sphere of assistance beyond their personal cities. Online collaboration and sources became a essential to achievement.

In today’s world wide web age, with information and facts now offered at our fingertips, mastering and recalling information is not almost as essential as mastering how to discover information and facts, consider critically, and resolve challenges. Having students ponder and study important queries, talk about their findings, and generate new know-how or artifacts to demonstrate their understanding are essential tactics for mastering these skills—and technologies is a foundational tool for accomplishing these tasks.

Dynamic mastering environments really should assistance the use of technologies with conveniently accessible energy sources, shared interactive screens, and other sources. Desks, tables, and even soft seating alternatives that include constructed-in electrical outlets permit students to plug in and charge their devices wherever they may be working, and mobile power supplies can also bring electrical energy exactly where it is necessary.

7 – Deeper engagement, far better outcomes

What do you want teaching and mastering to appear like in your schools? What do you want students to know and be capable to do?

However you answer these queries, the mastering atmosphere really should be capable to assistance your vision. By incorporating these six components into the style of your mastering spaces, you can generate dynamic mastering environments that lead to deeper engagement and far better student outcomes. Let’s take lessons from the pandemic and turn them into positive modifications and assistance for each students and teachers.

Citations:

Kariippanon, Katharina &amp Cliff, Dylan &amp Lancaster,
Sarah &amp Parrish, Anne-Maree. (2018). Perceived
interplay among versatile mastering spaces
and teaching, mastering and student wellbeing.
Learning Environments Research. 21. 10.1007/
s10984-017-9254-9.

Wingrat, K., &amp Exner, C. (2005). The influence of
college furnishings on fourth grade children’s on-activity
and sitting behaviour in the classroom: A pilot
study. Work, 25(3), 263-272.

Dr. Sue Ann Highland

Dr. Sue Ann Highland

Sue Ann Highland, Ph.D., is the National Education Strategist for School Specialty. She has more than 25 years of expertise as an educator, administrator, and consultant with college systems across the United States.

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Originally published in blog.schoolspecialty.com