Welcome to part one of the Smarter Spaces 'How to' series, bringing you a range of top tips on how you can make simple additions to your learning environment, which can make a huge difference to your learners. In this first guide, we'll be telling you how you can make your classroom a sanctuary by creating an oasis of calm.
Neutralise the mood using natural colours
We all know that different colours can make us react in a different way - a lick of paint or backing paper on your walls can help you change the mood of your classroom in minutes. If you want to create a calm atmosphere, go for greens and greys. Looking for some inspiration? Check out our interactive colour fan here!
Let there be light!
Clear your windows of clutter to help fill your classroom with natural light - it can help boost our serotonin levels making us feel happier, calmer and more focused.
Stop. And breathe...
Taking a minute out to breathe deeply can help to still the mind and refocus. Learn some simple breathing exercises like the 4-7-8 breathing technique to share with your class when you need a minute of calm, perhaps when things are getting a little hectic after play or before a big test.
Increase patience using plants
Potting and looking after plants can be a great way of calming students and helping them feel closer to nature. Not only that, but they can be a fun way of getting your class to learn about the plant cycle. Get some seeds and start growing!
Calming down with the classics
Make a playlist of slow tempo tunes for those times when you want your class to relax or focus on their work. It's a great way to calm learners down and help broaden their horizons by exposing them to classical music.
Get a pet!
Research has shown that a classroom pet is a great way to stimulate learners, bring out their nurturing side and add an air of calm to the classroom. The RSPCA provides special guidance for classrooms who want a new furry friend.
Curling up with a good book
Help your learners explore new realms of their imagination by filling your reading corner with soft cushions, floor mats and pictures to create a cosy book corner.
Don't bellow, use instruments to make your class mellow
Take care of your voice by using an instrument like a wind chime or rainstick to signal to your class when they should be quiet.
Clear the clutter
Keep surfaces clear, invest in storage and get rid of anything you don't use to create an accessible space. Our Coalition partner Gratnells offers a range of brilliant storage solutions which can help bring a sense of calm and order to your classroom.
Practice makes perfect!
Not only does handwriting practice make for beautiful books it can also be a great way to calm a class. The repetitive action focuses the mind and your learners should benefit from beautiful handwriting. Not a bad deal!
Stay tuned for more top tips as next week we'll reveal easy ways to bring the outside into your classroom!