Are you getting ready to kick-start a brand-new term? We spoke to Nicole Cormack, Account Manager for Education at Winc, to find out more about how to facilitate collaboration and encourage togetherness in and out of the classroom.
Maximise outdoor learning experiences
“Many students have spent the better part of last few years indoors, so a great way to encourage engagement is to incorporate outdoor learning experiences,” says Nicole. Research shows that in addition to improving student engagement in learning and enjoyment of it, outdoor learning also improves their skills in social interaction and improves their concentration and behaviour1.
Extending learning outside the classroom and into the natural environment creates opportunities for integrated learning, as well as supporting personal health and wellbeing. Ensure that hand sanitisers and cleaning products are nearby to disinfect hands and surfaces.
Bring in colour in the classroom
Colour plays an integral role in influencing learning and mood by boosting productivity in the classroom. “Bright and bold colours affect sensory processing. Colours play a significant role in creating a positive working environment and helps to increase productivity,” says Nicole. Utilise artwork created by students around the classroom to promote self-expression and creativity.
Designate quiet spaces
While collaborative learning approaches such as team activities and group projects are great for boosting student interaction, it is also important to implement quiet time for focused work. “It’s a good idea to provide quiet spaces to help students when they feel overwhelmed or overstimulated by their usual classroom environments. Removing sensory distractions can help students focus on their work and boost their wellbeing,” says Nicole. Nicole recommends supplying arts and craft materials to help students to calm down, focus and express their feelings.
Create communal areas
“A great way to build classroom culture is by maximising nearby communal areas. School libraries, multi-purpose spaces, or even playgrounds can inspire learning and promote togetherness within the cohort,” Nicole advises.
Open spaces are a great way to form friendships and foster collaborative learning as many students feel more comfortable sharing ideas with one another. Equip these areas with coloured pens, markers and paper to meet all your learning needs.
Functional furniture for fun activities
Nicole recommends filling classrooms with movable furniture items such as drawers to facilitate sharing and easy access to supplies. “Having correct storage helps to educate young students by encouraging them to keep organised and share supplies with one another. Flexible furniture such as ottomans and stools can also help collaboration and group work.”
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