The easiest and most pedagogically appropriate way of boosting your classroom dynamics is to make sure your students have no time to be bored and instead enjoy your classes. Keeping your class dynamics to the right level is also important for students’ health and their overall well-being. You can offer a balanced learning environment by adopting a few simple strategies and introducing them as part of your teaching routine.
What is a dynamic classroom?
A lesson which offers students various opportunities to explore and understand the topic and where different types of activities and teaching methods are applied will definitely appeal to students’ individual learning styles. A dynamic classroom will have a balance of static and interactive elements allowing some time for individual work and cooperation, and will use various tools and resources such as apps and games, everyday objects, magazines, books and toys to appeal to students’ needs and preferences. The teacher will also use various teaching approaches such as hands-on activities, projects, team work and outings to motivate their students further.
Why dynamics in the classroom is important.
Keeps students motivated
Changing classroom dynamics mean there is no time for boredom as students are busy with meaningful activities and projects. It does not mean that they should be overwhelmed with the amount of material, but simply absorbed with the activities offered. The more interesting and appealing these activities are, the more fascinating the lesson will be for the students.
A dynamic classroom that offers a range of different ways to cover a topic will always be more effective and appealing. If you introduce a range of teaching approaches such as experiential learning or team work, it is highly likely that your students will learn more this way. Such approaches help to engage students and make learning more meaningful.
Appeals to individual learning styles
Different learning styles, an individual pace of students’ development, and their special needs and requirements mean that you need to offer something that will cater for all these equally. Some students learn by moving around, others by working in team. But all of them have special talents and interests which they should be able to explore and use during your classes. Offering a dynamic environment will certainly help to achieve this.
Important for students’ health
Sitting in one place for the whole lesson is not a good example of a dynamic classroom and it does not promote healthy habits either. Children are naturally very active and this need has to be satisfied in full, otherwise they start to misbehave or may develop concentration and posture problems. A dynamic classroom means your students can move around freely while being engaged in a meaningful project. They can even be loud during their brainstorming sessions which will help to satisfy their natural needs even more.
How to boost your classroom dynamics
Team work and cooperation
Introducing collaboration gets students motivated as they are working together to achieve the same goal. Teamwork also facilitates more informal atmosphere and encourages communication, which in turn help students relax. Working with friends also helps to reduce the tensions related to not understanding the task, not being able to complete it and having to struggle with it alone. Collaboration with others makes it easier to ask for directions or advice, and it facilitates learning in general. Introduce teamwork activities on a daily basis, have your students work on different projects together, encourage them to change teams and use variety of resources and tools to help them complete their projects.
Hands-on learning is one of the best tools to facilitating learning processes by absorbing students in tasks they can explore on their own. Keeping students absorbed means they will not get bored and misbehave so easily, and they will understand what you are trying to teach them more. Whatever the topic of your lesson is, make sure you offer your students some time to learn by doing. They can work individually or in teams, and the experiences you offer can be of different nature starting from scientific experiments, app testing, cooking, construction to field work.
Activities promoting movement
There are many ways to offer some movement in a classroom environment in a controlled way. Good examples are team work or group activities where students need to move from one person/group to another to discuss or work on a specific issue. Working stations is another great way to make sure your students do not sit at their tables all the time. They can be easily set up as part of an ongoing project or as a temporary thing. Depending on your students’ needs, you may create theme-based working stations and encourage your students to help you set them up. To promote movement even further you may also introduce short and funny games and quizzes.
Playing relaxing music at the background while your students are busy working on a project is a great way to facilitate learning and promote relaxation. Usually there will be no dancing involved but the background music will help to create a pleasant atmosphere and support effortless concentration. It is better to limit the music sessions to one or two during each class for it to have a refreshing rather than disturbing effect.
Brainstorming and discussing
Discussing controversial topics, asking your students for their opinions and organising intensive brainstorming sessions are all perfect tools to activating your students and offering them opportunities to express themselves. You don’t need to plan extensively to organise discussion session – just make it your habit to ask your students opinions e.g. after reading sessions or scientific experiments, events they took part in, etc. In fact, you may be doing it all the time in a more or less organised manner, for example before your planned activities to encourage predicting and planning, or after the activities to promote reflection and reasoning.
They will always differ depending on your students’ age and stage of development, but offering attractive and modern resources, toys and learning equipment will help you keep your students busy and excited. Make sure the resources can be easily accessed and enjoyed without too much restrictions. You may incorporate them into special projects, team work sessions and experiments, or they can be available to your students at all time. All resources should be of good quality and they should not pose any risk of harm to the students.
Introducing dynamics in your classroom will not only help you keep your students busy, happy and motivated, but it will also facilitate the overall learning experience for your students and the effectiveness of your teaching. Make sure that boosting your classroom dynamics supports your students’ individual needs and preferences. To do so you will need to use a wide spectrum of tools.