“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Creating a calm and peaceful learning environment for your students can have a massive impact on their learning and your own well-being. This blog will outline some resources and proven ideas to create the best opportunity for your students to feel comfortable and relaxed during learning.
Peaceful Pastel Colours
Most teachers spend days decorating their classroom at the beginning of the school year with spectacular classroom displays. In fact, my classrooms were always covered from ceiling to floor, not an inch of space was left blank and it often looked like a clown had exploded. For most students, this was OK and they thrived in this environment. However, there are students that would have really struggled with my choice of bright colours and classroom displays.
To help create a calm vibe in your classroom, use pastel, soft colours for your permanent displays. Pastel colours evoke relaxation and are considered relieving and soothing. Some people even say that pastel colours equate with a positive mindset! Something all students and teachers need…
Here are some classroom theme packs that evoke calmness:
Here are some display letter sets that will soothe:
The type of lighting used in the classroom can have a massive impact on student behaviour and in turn, their learning. The florescent lighting that most classrooms are fitted with is not always the most suitable lighting for student learning. Some research suggests that some children become agitated and excitable from these florescent lights.
Try using as much natural light as possible. If this is not feasible, have half of the lights turned off or venture outdoors and find a nice shady spot under a tree.
Connect with Nature
Many studies have shown that indoor plants provide a number of benefits for health, well-being, work performance and the general lifting of spirits within the work place. It is obvious then that the use of nature in a classroom environment promotes a sense of calm. Set up a role on the job chart for students to be in charge of watering the plants each couple of days.
Using music in the classroom is hugely beneficial. Research suggests that it enhances certain forms of intelligence, like verbal and spatial abilities. Some teachers have even found that playing Mozart in the classroom environment has helped with concentration and attentiveness.
I would often play classical music while the students entered the classroom at the beginning of the school day. I found the students began the day feeling calm and were less inclined to lose focus. The students in my class associated the classical music to the appropriate behaviour to start the school day. It also helped me remain calm.
To set your students up for success, create predictable routines in the classroom to give students confidence, independence and reduce anxiety. Using our visual schedules can also assist with successful transitions between activities. Visual schedules can assist in decreasing transition time and challenging behaviours. Consider using a sand timer to give a time warning.
Here are some of our routine resources:
We hope this blog has given you some ideas on creating a more peaceful learning environment. We would love to hear other ideas of what has worked for you. Flick us a comment in the comments section of this blog!