November 1, 2021

Reasons To Incorporate Student Choice in Classroom Design

Reasons To Incorporate Student Choice in Classroom Design

Perhaps one of the biggest tragedies to come from this global pandemic is the halting of in-person academics. Fortunately, most K-12 schools are returning to traditional learning, and the opportunity to revitalize our classrooms to optimize our teaching potential is obtainable.

Classroom design has a massive impact on how your students retain information and succeed this academic year. Furthermore, assembling your teaching space with the assistance of student input further maximizes their education capabilities. Check out these practical reasons to incorporate student choice in classroom design.

Wait, What IS Student Choice?

In short, student choice design is when you allow input from students on how their classroom should be laid out. These choices include:

  • The arrangement of desk clusters.
  • The placement of blackboards or smartboards.
  • The ability to pick specific learning techniques tailored to their strengths.
  • The opportunity to select specific layouts that benefit and promote different learning styles, minor group instruction, collaboration, etc.

The key to providing student choice is creating a comprehensive plan that affords diverse and numerous options.

Benefits Different Learning Styles

Every student is different, and while personalizing the curriculum for every student is an unrealistic undertaking, student choice in the design of your classroom benefits everyone’s learning style. Quickly, let’s review the four main ways students learn:

Visual

These learners succeed through the visualization of information. This is achieved through visual aids like shapes and patterns rather than videos and photos. Modern technology in the classroom makes this learning style more accessible.

Kinesthetic

Students who prefer kinesthetic learning prefer physical, hands-on learning. Bringing your lesson into the 3D world allows students to associate information with touch, a more valuable experience for these learners.

Auditory

These students respond to the spoken word above all else. Group discussions and inclusive lectures benefit them the most. Provide these pupils with a safe space to organize their thoughts through conversation and allow them to fail with confidence.

Reading & Writing

Students who thrive with the written word gain more from traditional writing and reading lesson plans. If possible, provide them with written quizzes and homework.

The following reasons to incorporate student choice in classroom design will prove that this method of constructing your learning space benefits all learning styles!

Instills Confidence

When we allow our students to make personal decisions, we lay the foundation for confidence in their everyday lives. The prospect of autonomy is exciting to children of all ages. Studies show that when tasked with creating their own classroom layout or teaching methods, it empowers students to think critically without relying on their instructor for all the answers.

What are the ways a student can use choice when designing their learning space that directly instills confidence? For starters, allow them to potentially choose whom they prefer to sit near and where they want their desk. Hand out a slip of paper in which they select their top three favorite desk neighbors; you can use their preferred opinions to arrange desk clusters that fit their needs without promoting a distracting learning environment.

Promotes Responsibility

Much like confidence, responsibility is a crucial skill for students to master at a young age. Student choice encourages them to take ownership of their decisions and puts the consequences solely on their shoulders.

Concerning tailoring lesson plans that maximize your students’ strengths, they take their learning experience into their own hands. Flexibility allows them to weigh the pros and cons of the decisions they make. An example would include a student suggesting the option to have speaking assessments in place of traditional quizzes.

Encourages Collaborative Work

Individual learning practices still have a place within the classroom – they provide valuable thinking skills necessary for students’ future success. Not to mention, certain students thrive best with this form of teaching. However, collaboration is the new wave of education.

Socratic seminars involving your entire class are both tailored to specific students and further reinforces material learned. Have them prepare questions and critical thoughts on the subject for them to discuss in front of their peers. Allow friendly debate amongst different opinions that make students peer through different perspectives. Attempt to host these group discussions – if requested by students – at least once a month, giving your pupils a relaxed yet educational experience to look forward to.

It Makes the Classroom Fun!

Even the best teachers can struggle in making school “fun.” Thanks to countless movies and television shows, the traditional classroom consisting of monotonous rows of seats and drab décor is painted as a dreadful environment. Furthermore, students will eagerly tell you they find a boring classroom counterproductive towards learning.

Student choice brings the fun back into educational environments. Imagine a classroom full of desk clusters seamlessly flowing together, encouraging students to interact with others while also retaining their own personal workspace. With student choice, they exercise their imagination and create a space that elicits joy in learning.

The days of rigid, uncomfortable desks are over! Unique seating is one way to make the learning experience fun again. Implement ergonomic seating that provides comfort and encourages discussion and collaboration. Seats such as KI classroom furniture are flexible and maximize your students’ learning experience.

Makes You a Better Teacher

Every teacher will tell you that their students teach them something new every day that makes them a more capable instructor. Allowing your class the ability to express their ideas gives you helpful insight into how they think critically, learn differently, and act responsibly. Flexibility, in the long run, aids you in becoming a versatile educator.

Maybe you’ve never lessoned planned for kinesthetic learners. Perhaps your traditional seating arrangement unknowingly has limited your students’ enjoyment. These issues are remedied with student choice.

Makes Your Life Easier

Teaching is hard; it can be taxing on the mind, body, and spirit. Countless classroom factors contribute to your busy daily schedule. By putting the responsibility of classroom design into the hands of your students, you free up additional stressors that detract from more important tasks.

This isn’t to say that every aspect of lesson planning and designing won’t involve you and your time; students will sometimes suggest unrealistic suggestions that you must work around. However, critical thinking regarding design is given to others, allowing you to spend less time simply revising their thoughts.

Student choice offers so much value to your students, your school, and especially you. As experienced and capable teachers, we know what works with some and what doesn’t. However, reevaluating your method of teaching is often beneficial for your diverse students. Remember that this process involves trial and error, but your pupils will reap the benefits with time, and you’ll be a better teacher for it.

Reasons To Incorporate Student Choice in Classroom Design