Interesting Article- Rethinking the colorful classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Shiloh17, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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  3. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2014

    I think lots of bright colors cause too much over-sensory stimulation. I don't like pure white either, but neutral colors are favorable to me.

    Every time I go into an early childhood type setting, I get into a bad mood partially because of all the color.
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    My opinion is a bit skewed because I teach high school, but I do take a little exception to the notion that teachers just decorate for parents/admin. My classroom is as decorated as I can make it and I always tell the kids, "you're here for 90 min every other day. I'm here 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week. The classroom needs to be MY happy place if I'm going to be the best teacher for you."

    So basically, I decorate for me, not them. :p If I taught sped, I'd think of things differently I'm sure, but I expect 14-17 year olds to be able to focus, despite my pink and black sparkly curtains.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    12 kids in each group doesn't really make for a very sound "study".

    Of course, initially they are going to be looking around at everything-I mean that's what we do when we enter someone's space-- but they become immune to it. It's hard to get them to even use something like a word wall-they forget it's there. I don't see anything wrong with putting up some borders and decorations. And no one covers 100% of their walls-they would be fined by the fire marshal.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    I totally agree. Every time children work in a new space they are distracted by the environment. They are naturally curious and want to explore. Recently I was doing some assessing outside of my classroom and the children were distracted by the space no matter which room we were in! At one point we were in an empty classroom and they still needed time to focus on the task I was trying to have them complete. Every new space is exciting.

    As for guidelines... the fire inspector keeps us within regulations.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2014

    And that's the way we want them to be-we want them to explore and discover.

    You should have seen the faces on mine when we went upstairs one day! ;)
     
  8. underthesun

    underthesun Rookie

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    I think that's an interesting article, but I think it's definitely very skewed. The study sounds as if the students were only in the rooms for 10 minutes each a day, for two weeks. I'd be surprised if the students WEREN'T looking around the decorated room during that time; it's a new environment with a lot to look at, and it sounds as if they'd been moved in there and immediately thrown into a lesson, leaving them with no time to adjust. I imagine that if they had arranged the study with two separate classes and followed them throughout the YEAR, the results might be very different, especially after the children's curiosity with the posters became sated.

    I do think it's quite possible for a room completely covered in bright, demanding colors to be overstimulating, for sure. But I also think it's important to the mood of the room that it not feel completely sterile.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    :agreed:
    This is how I am. I have to take things down for testing. I hate it, and the kids complain too.
     
  10. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Yes, as a high school teacher I mainly decorate for me. However, I have had so many students comment that they like coming in my room. I have matching fabric valences over my windows, and a coordinating fabric on my bulletin board. My desk organizers, clock, and other accessories also coordinate color-wise. That's about it other than some biology-type posters on the wall. Oh, and a few plants scattered about, but those double as science lab experiments! ;)

    I want my room to be inviting and comfortable for my students (and me), and would hate to walk into a sterile, boring room every day!
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I find it hilarious that, once again, the end all be all is "test scores." Sure, by all means, let's put those 5 year olds in a sensory deprivation tank. Anything to increase test scores a few points. :rolleyes:

    Maybe a bright colorful room distracts them a bit, but also increases their overall enjoyment of the classroom experience. Maybe they are slightly less focused on standardized testing, but their mood is healthier. Maybe they're learning something about the world that doesn't have to do with that particular test. It's sad because I guess all that matters is what answer they circled on their test.
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    :thumb: Love the little ones! The smallest things make their day!
     
  13. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I think this is the problem in early childhood education (can't speak for older grades) is we're too accommodating. Almost to the point having children who can't cope with things.

    Another issue that article touches on is children have short attention spans that we should be working on (as they did in the past), not catering to. I think the rest is symptoms of that. I feel like this world has too much instant gratification and teachers exspected to kneel to it.
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    My rule is if it's not student work or something to benefit their learning (like word walls, diagrams, etc) I don't put it up on my walls. I agree that it can be really distracting to students- but at the same time, a student can be learning something if it's a learning tool to begin with (not just something flashy to look at).

    That being said, at the same time, I have to have a nice looking room for parents and students who are coming in for a visit (as a private school that's really important)- so I try to add some decorations. On the wall that has my Smart Board and whiteboards I don't add anything- that's the main wall the students are looking at during a lesson if they're not working in small groups on an activity. I did purchase some of those wall stickers that can peel back off for next school year to decorate around my sinks (there's a space between the sinks and the cabinets that is white wall- I thought it might make the place more inviting).
     
  15. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I totally agree! I'm really concerned for my students who have special needs and we're catering to those instead of teaching them how to cope and develop the needed skills. I grew up having to be in special reading classes and I had speech class for 6 years, while dealing with depression and anxiety. I wasn't expected to do less or different than my peers- I had to learn to be able to do those same things, even if it took me longer to get it. Because of that I do what I can to advocate for my students who struggle too and try to teach strategies to help them with whatever it might be that is difficult for them.
     
  16. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Come to my room! I don't like clutter and excess stuff hanging everywhere. I use color, but keep it the amount of stuff to a minimum. My district was pushing us to use anchor charts a lot this year and I refused because I don't like the clutter...it's too much stimulation.
     
  17. Go Blue!

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    Personally, not a fan of colorful classrooms. I teach high schools and I like plain white walls (or whatever color the wall is) and minimal decorations; a few posters and some quotes about history, civics, and government.

    Still, I don't agree with the article's finding.
     
  18. Em_Catz

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    I feel like some decorations are necessary because they make the classroom environment more welcoming and less scary (especially for my little ones who are often nervous about first grade). However, I've seen some people overdo it where it may not literally be 100% covered walls, but looks like it.

    I think that bulletin boards should be cute, but the main focus should be student work and not a random poster or graphic that's just cute for the sake of being cute and not at all useful.

    For example, a couple years ago a teacher had a bulletin board that was 90% covered by this enormous paper bunny she made and there were only like 5 student work papers up beside it.

    Sure the kids liked the picture, but I would have liked to see more work than bunny. If she just had to have the bunny, I would have liked to see it tied into the curriculum, like maybe she could have had labels for the body parts and a caption telling about the bunny. That would have tied into Health (parts of the body) and RELA (text features).

    Snoopy is one of my favorite characters, so I have cut outs of him all around my classroom, but he has speech bubbles coming out of his mouth with reminders of decorum for whatever area he's near. Like the snoopy near my tissue box says, "Blow (your nose) and throw (your tissue away)." The Snoopy in my library center has a speech bubble with the 5 finger rule.

    Our administration throw around the word "print rich environment" a lot in which we are expected to label things all around the classroom. I don't feel it's been particularly helpful to my students
     
  19. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I don't either. I've worked in environments where there was little to no labeling and the students advanced just as much their peers in rooms with everything labeled.
     
  20. brightstart123

    brightstart123 Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2014

    In my opinion, the colors should be used in a great combination and that should also be like after seeing it every one should feel energetic. Kids and the teacher both should feel a blast of energy in them after going inside the classroom.
     
  21. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2014

    Speaking as someone who had a rubber chicken hanging over her desk, and an active lava lamp and disco ball going all the time. . . . I function much better in a room full of things to look at when I get bored with whatever I'm doing. I focus on something else for a few minutes and then I'm ready to get back to work. The world is an active and fascinating place; people who can work only in caves or neutral places aren't going to have an easy time. Pastel walls make me crazy, especially if they're peach. I do best in a little chaos, color, and funk. That's what it's like in the world. Deal.
     

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