Written By: Arti Prasad|
July 16, 2018|
The classroom has special memories for every child. In the school spectrum, a classroom is an active, vibrant place, full of joy, teasing remarks, colourful boards, etc. It involves interaction between students and teachers in a positive, vibrant atmosphere. It means engagement of every individual and a changing scenario every day.
Students should be comfortable and communicating with others and learning is a fun activity. Keeping class dynamics at the right level is also important so that students have no time to be bored and instead enjoy the class. A dynamic classroom should provide all supportive elements (physically and psychologically) to foster growth of children.
A dynamic classroom offers students various opportunities to explore and understand the topic and where different types of activities and teaching methods are applied which appeal to students’ individual learning styles.
It 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 the students and keep students busy and excited. Resources should be easily accessible and enjoyed without too much restriction; incorporate them in special projects, team work sessions and experiments.
A dynamic class reflects all students engrossed in activities and discussions. Teachers must encourage participation of all children, instead of maintaining discipline. A good teacher is always willing to create a lively and dynamic classroom. Cohesiveness of classroom is very important. 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 tension related to not understanding the task, not being able to complete it and having to struggle with it alone.
Every class has different dynamics on different days. Children are curious by nature and want to explore out of the boundaries. Some are naturally motivated and self-disciplined, while many need a pushing force. Each student has own interests, potential and talents.
There is no one size that fits all. A dynamic class should be flexible, depending on the mood and environment of children and topic. It should accommodate the individuality of its children, without any bias. Dynamics should be focussed on their interests, rather than syllabus completion.
Approach and Conduct:
For a successful dynamic class, certain rules and code of conduct are necessary, to avoid chaotic situations. Students should be able to express themselves within time constraints. Rules and tone should be set in the beginning and behavioural expectations should be communicated to the children. Changing classroom dynamics means there is no time for boredom as students are busy with meaningful activities and projects. They should not be overwhelmed with the quantity 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.
Facilitates Experiential Learning:
A dynamic classroom with a range of teaching approaches and different ways to cover a topic will always be more effective and appealing. Such approaches help to engage students and make learning more enjoyable and meaningful. Hands-on learning is one of the best tools to facilitating learning processes by absorbing students in tasks they can explore on their own. This means they will not get bored and misbehave and will understand what you are trying to teach them. They can work individually or in teams, and the experiences you offer can be of different nature starting from scientific experiments, app testing, cooking, and construction to field work.
Individual Learning Styles:
Different learning styles, individual pace for students’ development, and their special needs and requirements mean that you need to offer something that will cater to all these equally. Some students learn by moving around, others by working in teams. 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.
Unstructured motion and Freedom:
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 ensure your students do not sit at their tables all the time. Depending on students’ needs, you may create theme-based working stations and encourage your students to help you set them up. To promote movement, you may also introduce short and funny games and quizzes. 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 otherwise they start to misbehave or may develop concentration and posture problems. A dynamic classroom means students can move around freely while being engaged in a meaningful project.
BRAINSTORMING AND DISCUSSING
Discussing current and controversial topics, asking students for their opinions and organising intensive brainstorming sessions are all perfect tools to activating students and offering them opportunities to express themselves. You don’t need to plan extensively to organise discussion session – just make it a habit to ask students’ opinions e.g. after reading sessions or scientific experiments, events they took part in, etc. and before your planned activities to encourage predicting and planning, or after the activities to promote reflection and reasoning. They can even be loud during their brainstorming sessions which will help to satisfy their natural needs.
A dynamic classroom keeps students busy, happy and motivated, and it also facilitates the overall learning experience for students thus enhancing the effectiveness of learning and teaching. Boosting classroom dynamics should support students’ individual needs and preferences. Let’s make a difference and bring change in a dull classroom with a wide spectrum of relevant tools and techniques.
Arti Prasad has a post-graduate degree in Physics with a B.Ed and M.Phil. She has 21 years of experience in the teaching domain. She is an alumnus of DEI (Dayalbagh Educational Institute), which is celebrating 100 years in the service of education.
She started her teaching career as a Physics teacher in DPS Vasant Kunj. Presently she is the Principal of Soami Nagar Model School, in Soami Nagar, New Delhi. SNMS fosters academic excellence along with physical, cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual education with scientific methodology and transforms children into good citizens by fostering courage, character and commitment.
She is an educationist and academician by choice and has a strong passion for teaching and serving the society. She has conducted various workshops for teachers and students in different areas related to Curriculum (development & designing, planning) and CCE. She has been an excellent sports person and has participated in Table tennis, Volleyball, Shot-put at the regional and national level.