The time has come to think about your classroom for the upcoming school year. I know, it is only May, but what a great time to reflect on your year and to make notes about the changes you want to make for next year. Don’t get stressed out. I am not suggesting that you make changes at this moment. Simply make a list. I believe in this approach so much that I made an adorable printable for you. Check it out!
Make Your Classroom Awesome this Year
Here is a great way to get those creative juices flowing: Wait for a moment when you’re alone. No kids allowed during this time. Stand in your classroom, whether at home or in a school, close your eyes and imagine the scene. What is your ideal environment? Picture it. Then open your eyes and soak in your current environment. Notice what is awesome and notice what needs some refreshing. Then write your thoughts and ideas down. Place this piece of paper some where you will see it every day. This piece of paper is your reminder to make these changes happen and to embrace your ideal space. Got it?
Take Learning Outside
What a great way to freshen up your classroom. Find a way to bring learning outdoors. Whether you sit in a circle and have a lesson, or maybe make the learning more active and go on a nature walk easily integrating science, math, and language learning. I have loads of posts on learning outdoors. Taking your classroom outside can be a challenge (especially if the weather is not cooperating! Here are a few tips for that scenario.) but with preparation, you will success. Let me know how it goes. Oh, I also wrote four guides to get you started on bringing Montessori outside.
Use Essential Oils
Before you skip over this suggestion, take a minute to read up on the benefits of essential oils! There are loads of wonderful activities for kids using essential oils. I compiled a list of the great ways you can use essential oils in your classroom. So, definitely check out that post. Let me know if you have any questions about essential oils. I have been using them for a few years for myself, my children, and my home.
Combine Movement & Learning
Many people on’t realize this fact but Montessori placed great emphasis on combining learning and movement, not simply because kids enjoy learning more with this approach. Based on science and the way the brain develops, using both sides of the brain, and so on drove these points. Maria Montessori came to these conclusions through observation but modern science delivers research supporting her conclusions.
Practice the Silence Game
Integrating the Silence Game into the daily routine is easy to do and packs a big punch! Bring the children together in small groups or in a class circle, use the template I provide in my post on the Silence Game, and choose (or have a child choose) a special place in the classroom to hold the Silence Game materials (e.g. a chime or Tibetan Singing Bowl). Add your twist to the activity. After practicing a while encourage a child to led the activity.
Create a Peace Corner
Montessori believed children were the ultimate peacemakers. Finding ways to teach peace and to be peaceful in the home and classroom is important. This space will change your classroom energy.This space will be a go to spot for many children in the classroom. Create it with loveliness and simplicity. Include books that teach peace in a small basket. Ideally near a window with natural light, perhaps with a fish or a plant for the child to observe. The window is great not only for light but for a place for the child to gaze out onto the world.
Embrace Process Art
Art should be about the means, not the ends. I say that for adults and children, but especially for children. Give them the space to create and to use their unique imaginative approach will produce wonders and happiness. Check out these art ideas for some inspiration. Here are ideas for creating an art space in your home and classroom.
Focus on Simplicity
To be frank, avoid clutter and overstimulation. I know, easier said than done but I am hear to help! Check out these ideas on decluttering and see if you can apply them to your classroom space. Decluttering will change your life!
A trick to engaging kids is to rotate shelves. You don’t have to load up shelves with new materials. Who has the money for that? Use the materials you have to switch out works and to create variations. The possibilities are endless.
Make a Kindness Jar
Bringing social and emotional learning into the classroom goes a long way. A kindness jar is a simple, effective way to get children to start thinking about what it means to be kind. I appreciate the versatility of this activity. You can make it visual and concrete by simply using red pom moms. Every time someone observes kindness, he or she can add a pom pom to the jar. Watch the jar fill! Kids love it. Or, you can make it a writing exercise allowing children to write down why or how a person was kind to them.
Now go download that adorable printable to get you started on making your classroom awesome!