Perhaps the space doesn’t accurately reflect the learning that is taking place, or there is an issue with your class’s behaviour. Maybe some of your more vocal students are struggling with their concentration, or perhaps your current reading campaign has just fallen a little flat.
Whatever the issue, we’re hoping we can help with our top four quick fixes to consider to revitalise your classroom.
1. Maximise Your Space’s Potential
If one of your school’s objectives is to incorporate more blended learning or collaboration into the curriculum, and you’re just not seeing it work in your classroom, now would be a good time to consider reworking things with your fellow teachers and SLT. Can you jump into the ICT suite when the classes it’s allocated to aren’t there to add more blended learning into the mix, or use a break-out area in the corridor as an area to collaborate in?
2. Change the Seating Plan
After a full term of sitting next to someone, children can get too familiar with the people around them, so it’s good to move them around. They’ll be able to bounce ideas off different children, maybe experience working with friends, and get to know other students better too.
You may choose to change the seating plan to mix abilities, to group according to ability, to reflect children’s preferences/needs, i.e., eyesight/hearing/concentration issues or to mix friendship groups, but it will definitely alter the class dynamic.
3. Develop a Short-Term Class/Year Focus
Just as some things you’d planned may not have panned out quite as you’d expected, you may also be experiencing issues that you’d not accounted for, and now be looking to address this with your class/year group. This could be to encourage a quality, such as kindness, or something more specific, such as instilling a love of reading.
A display is a great way to do this and can easily be completed at the end of a couple of school days. A kindness board is also a fantastic tool to model positive behaviour. On it, at the end of each week, each child chooses a classmate and thanks them for a specific act of kindness. Even if the student can’t think of an example themselves, they’ll see other’s examples and recognise the rewards their peers are receiving for kind behaviour.
Stickers and bookmarks are fabulous rewards for reading, especially as they are dual-purpose and really visual. Children could receive one sticker to put on their bookmark every time they finish a book, so they can accumulate quite a collection over time!
4. Update Your Displays
If the kindness display idea doesn’t hit the spot for your needs, changing your display areas in general could still revitalise your space and refocus energies.
A new topic board or handwriting display can quickly and easily be filled with students’ stunning masterpieces, which really help them develop a sense of ownership of not only their work, but also the space they’re working in.
Do you have any other suggestions that have worked in practice for you? We’d love to hear them, so do contact us about them on firstname.lastname@example.org. If we like your idea, we may well include a template in a future resource pack so other teachers can benefit too!