School can be a stressful time for a lot of students, and classrooms can quickly become boring spaces for them. This is why many teachers choose to decorate their classrooms. Creating a learning space that is as friendly and inviting as possible is sure to help your students to engage more with your lessons, and it’s easy to transform your mobile classrooms into the spaces described below. Get ready to move some chairs around and make some space!
Mindfulness has been practised in various religions and by various people, and is a trend that is still picking up speed in the West. We all remember what a stressful time being a kid in high school felt like, so introducing spaces to practise mindfulness could be a fantastic way to help your students focus. If your students are calm and collected, it follows that their studies are going to benefit from this changed perspective, rather than always approaching their work in a peer-pressure induced panic. Why not transform one of your classrooms into a mindfulness room? This would be a space where students could go to wind down with colouring, suduko, or leisurely reading.
Yoga is one way of practising mindfulness that could benefit your school. It can be integrated into P.E. lessons or practised as a lunchtime club. Yoga increases core strength and flexibility, as well as benefitting your students’ mental well-being, and increasing body awareness. Yoga is about practising breathing techniques whilst exercising, and this encourages the person engaging in this activity to clear their mind and relax. Following a lunchtime yoga practice, the students involved will hopefully have been able to push aside any issues with peers or lessons experienced in the morning, and will be able to approach their afternoon lessons with a fresh and tidy mind.
Another way to improve your students’ engagement is to encourage them to feel pride in their work. This can be done by showing their work to the rest of the school by keeping this room open during lunchtime, displaying it on open days, or holding exhibition evenings for the local community and parents. Class projects could fill this exhibition room to demonstrate the hard work which different classes are putting into their studies, such as a history of British monarchs or some paper maché volcanoes from science or geography. An exhibition space would also benefit Art GCSE students who may be creating 3D sculptures or art pieces which would be best appreciated when displayed as a set.
Having a space to create in will help students to think about their work as occupying a physical space, rather than locked away in textbook pages. Classroom displays are often limited to posters, but with a space dedicated to the exhibition, your students can go mad on collaboratively creating huge sculptures which would have no room in any normal classroom.
Well-being centre or Games room?
Depending on what kind of school you run, your school’s library will probably occupy one of two categories: it will either be a quiet place where good students go to polish off homework for next lesson and maybe also check out a book, or it will be a place of havoc which tired students retreat to for gossip and boardgames when it’s raining outside. Both of these environments are beneficial for any school looking to improve itself so ask yourself which category your library falls into and consider building a second space which means you can support both environments, if you don’t already.
A games room can be cheaply furnished with second-hand versions of Scrabble, Othello, and chess. Cheap crosswords, colouring pages and suduko can also be printed off the internet for your students to fill in. A games room will encourage your students to stay mentally stimulated during their breaks and will stop them from reappropriating the library to enact the same activities. It’s important to keep competitive games like Scrabble, Othello and chess outside of any space you want to remain quiet, as competitive games are sure to stimulate conversation between players, which could be disruptive to students trying to finish their homework. For this reason, you should have a dedicated games room to keep everyone happy.
Mobile classrooms can be placed away from other buildings, so you don’t have to worry about noise pollution disturbing teachers trying to mark in the classrooms neighbouring your games room, because there won’t need to be any neighbouring rooms with a mobile classroom.
Whatever it is your school needs, be that a yoga room, an exhibition space, a games room or a new library, mobile classrooms are an economical, green and quick alternative to solving your space problems. Don’t hesitate to expand your school if it can benefit your students’ mental health.