The way a classroom is set up and the materials displayed in it can contribute highly to a child's learning experience. Teachers can assist their students' learning process simply by changing the appearance of their classroom to fit a particular group of children. Many children are visual learners and thrive in areas that are fast-paced and interesting enough to keep their attention. Teachers can use this to their advantage by creating a classroom perfectly attuned to their students' learning styles.
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Before you even begin to work on display ideas, creating an appropriate sense of scale in the classroom is important. If the chairs are too big, the ceiling is too high and the displays are above their eye level, the children may feel less confident in the classroom. Be sure the scale of the classroom is always equal to the "scale" of the children to provide the best environment.
Children are visual learners, so 3-D shapes in math help them gain a better understanding of presented material. Find or make 3-D geometric shapes like triangles or spheres and place them around the classroom for easy discussion. This will keep children intrigued and add a "cool" factor to your room. Using characters such as animals, monsters or bugs in conjunction with math subjects also is a popular choice. This can be done with puppets, stuffed animals, 3-D figurines and anything else you feel would keep your students' attention. These characters keep the kids involved and can be used as teaching tools as well.
For science rooms, you can switch the room themes as the chapters change. When doing a unit on the skeletal system, you can use a scattered bones theme. Place "bones" all over different areas of the room. As you study certain bones or certain areas of the body, you put the scattered skeleton together. This will help the kids understand not only the locations of the bones but the functions as well. Food chain themes also are a big hit with the kids. Use a large animal that the kids pick, then put together a food chain complete with pictures, definitions and explanations.
Grammar can be a tricky subject for children, so a room theme that displays and explains certain parts of grammar can keep kids involved. One popular choice is interactive sentence builders. Place a host of words on the board and let the kids put together sentences from the words. As they are building the sentences, have them identify the parts. "Big books" are always great as well; fill the room with larger-than-life versions of some of the books the kids will be reading or will be familiar with.
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