How to Create a Positive Learning Environment for Your Students

Mar 31, 2020 by

When students enter school at the beginning of the year, they expect to be accepted by their peers and to learn with them. In order for this to occur, you, the teacher, need to create a positive learning environment from day one. This will allow students to feel comfortable enough in your classroom to learn, collaborate with peers, and grow as a student and citizen. When summer comes to an end and the beginning of the school year slowly approaches, use these tips to establish a positive learning environment in the classroom.

1. Create a list of classroom rules…together

Classroom rules made solely by the teacher is an outdated practice. Telling students, “No talking!” or “Eyes on the board at all times!” doesn’t improve classroom management. In fact, a strict learning environment in the classroom can cause students to act out more.

Rather than taking complete control of the classroom, allow your students to have a say in the rulemaking process. After all, your job is to prepare students to become active participants in our democracy. By giving them the privilege to make their own classroom rules, they’ll be more likely to follow them and respect them.

This is called creating a classroom constitution. On the first day of school, after you get to know your students, ask them all to write three rules they’d like or expect in a classroom. Students love structure, and when a classroom doesn’t have order, all chaos will ensue. Once you collect everyone’s rules, put them on the interactive whiteboard or chalkboard and have students vote. The top ten rules with the most votes will make up your constitution.

2. Promote safe online practices

We now live in a digital age run by technology, which means teaching 21st-century skills is crucial when it comes to preparing your students for a successful future. Today’s classrooms are equipped with technology like iPads, Google Chromebooks, interactive whiteboards, and tablets. This means more and more students are going to be interacting with peers online.

As you start the school year, you want to ensure your students are safe online and in the classroom. Cyberbullying is becoming more and more prevalent, so teaching your students online etiquette and the consequences of posting harmful content online is important.

To mitigate cyberbullying, use content filtering to ensure students are behaving properly online. Other ways to promote safe online practices and not allow negativity include teaching a lesson on cyberbullying, creating a cyberbullying reporting system, and providing students with resources regarding this topic.

3. Have a discussion about learning styles

Not every student learns the same. Some students may be visual learners and learn best by reading, others may be kinesthetic learners and learn by doing, and others may be auditory learners and learn by hearing. At the beginning of the school year, administer a learning styles quiz that shows you and your students what their learning styles are.

Once you have the results, you’ll be able to create lessons that are appropriate for each student and allow all students to learn and partake in classroom activities.

4. Provide helpful feedback

Students won’t grow if they don’t know whether they’re doing something correctly or incorrectly. Feedback is essential for creating a positive learning environment. The teacher doesn’t have to be the only one to administer feedback, either.

When students complete an assignment or project, create a peer feedback system where students can learn from each other. Provide students with rubrics and criteria and give them a chance to take the role of the teacher. Allowing students to peer review is a great learning tool and allows them to critically think about their own work.

5. Encourage collaboration

Collaboration is key when it comes to creating a positive learning environment in the classroom. Rather than having students work with the same partners or groups every time, allow them to branch out and create relationships with students on the other side of the classroom.

Collaboration is a lifelong skill that goes a long way. Teaching students how to communicate, express their ideas, and listen to others will set them up for success in the future.

Key takeaways

A positive learning environment is crucial if you want your students to learn and grow. If students are in a hostile work environment where they don’t feel safe, they won’t be able to focus on learning. From day one, work with your students to create classroom rules, promote online safety, determine their learning styles, provide feedback, and encourage collaboration. Doing so will create a positive environment that will make students excited to enter your classroom.

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