Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Inviting Environment in a High School Science Classroom

Have you ever thought about why people decorate their surroundings? Why do we dress up our rooms like our students dress up to go to the prom? It is a way to express ourselves and show our interest. Think about the last time your home or office was messy. It may have made you feel the same way...messy! Our surroundings can create a sense of disarray or we can use them to create a sense of happiness. Disney World is a happy place. But, imagine going to the Magic Kingdom without the castle, princesses, lights, and rides. Let's face it, things just wouldn't be the same. Environment can have a major impact. As teachers, we should create an inviting environment for our students. Keep reading to learn some of the ways I make my classroom warm and inviting to my students.  

1) Add decor
Make your classroom warm and inviting by adding decor. Decorate your bulletin board, the walls, your desk. Make things match. Use school colors and connect it all to your students by adding a data wall or use their work to decorate.

2) Use science themes
Use science themes to decorate such as glassware, living things, or the planets. This year I used the periodic table and owls, incorporating two different subjects I teach. And of course because I teach biology, I have critters. The kids love them and they can be used to teach responsibility to even high school students. When your students enter, they know immediately what type of classroom they are in. 

3) Add toys and models (skeleton, plasma ball, lava lamp, toy cars, robot insects, etc. Make them feel like science is neat! 

4) Create your own posters, laminate, and use to decorate 

Finally...Let's consider Disney World again. As you enter the Magic Kingdom, you and your family are greeted by the excitement and engagement. Stores with toys and shops with characters catch your attention. The happiness is contagious. There is so much to do and so much to see...different things to captivate everyone's interest. I'm not saying to dress up as Cinderalla and greet your students with song and dance everyday. Im just saying make it exciting. Find ways to make it fun for everybody to learn. And it won't matter so much that your colors match. Students will look forward to the "song and dance" you will have them to do each day. And the environment will always be inviting.