Design bulletin boards … Too slowly? I look forward to reading the next blog posts in the series. Learners respond far better to praise than punitive measures. Thank you again. Reinforcement learning (RL) is an area of machine learning concerned with how software agents ought to take actions in an environment in order to maximize the notion of cumulative reward. An effective environment will also be responsive, containing features that involve all five senses and provoke thinking, open-ended outcomes, and creativity. When your athletes feel … 5. Inspire November 23, 2016 INSPIRE 11 Comments. Divergent concepts are contrasted. Former teacher and now educational leader, Eric Jensen says, “A teacher’s climate must be rich in affirmation, rich in relevancy, rich in engagement and rich in relationships”. There is of course no single optimum learning environment. 3. Positive, productive learning environments are key to students' academic, emotional and social success in school. When encouraging and praising students, genuine expression within the delivery is important. 8. I also like the doors that are based on student input, choices, and decisions. Thank you for sharing. My students enjoy, as do other staff in the building, my library/reading area. A characteristic of a highly-effective classroom, then, is diversity here, which also has the side-effect of improving your long-term capacity as an educator. Optimal definition is - most desirable or satisfactory : optimum. Optimal Learning The good news is that students can get better and better provided that we design instruction to improve their skills-and we can do so right from the start, in kindergarten and first grade.” (Joyce B., Weil M., & Calhoun E. (2009) Models of teaching and learning, Pearson, 13) Office Phone 503-399-5548. Each problem, and each algorithm, is coded in its own .m file, making it easy for users to add new problems, and new algorithms. It has to leave the classroom because they do. Cognitive theori… In total, they contain the formula for a healthy, productive environment. Students can move quickly through the space and easily access resources needed for various learning purposes. A supportive environment strives to be one in which: students are treated with respect and fairness by teachers, other staff and other students members of the school community feel valued This five part series on “Optimal Learning Environment”, begins with these five classroom doors. Consider sources like professional and cultural mentors, the community, content experts outside of education, and even the students themselves. Wherever we are, we’d all like to think our classrooms are ‘intellectually active’ places. The brain processes information all the time and naturally responds globally to the context of the environment in which it is immersed. Almost all of us have spent a great deal of time in the classroom, beginning in kindergarten and extending for years beyond. Spend time with students individually every day. Old thinking is revisited. In 2015, we introduced MOLTE, Modular Optimal Learning Testing Environment, which is a Matlab-based environment for testing a wide range of learning algorithms for problems with discrete alternatives, on a wide range of problems. Students need to feel they are part of their classroom environment and play a role in what happens there each and every day. Your email address will not be published. It’s crucial to make personal connections with your … I also love the idea of making it a community. Music plays an important role in creating a stimulating learning environment and increasing learner engagement in a training session. When the instruction is geared in the kiddos favor it makes the day that more enjoyable and understandable. I love this! The more infrequent, clinical, murky, or threatening it is, the more you’re going to separate the ‘good students’ from the ‘good thinkers.’ And the ‘clinical’ idea has less to do with the format of the test, and more to do with the tone and emotion of the classroom in general. Outside, children and youth can release energy, use loud voices, play vigorously, and engage in messy projects. This computes to about 30 percent of students’ waking time spent under the roof of our schools and behind the doors of our classrooms. The second door for me speaks to student ownership and acquiring of knowledge by hooking them through curiosity and wonder. If they all come from narrow slivers of resources, you’re at risk of being pulled way off in one direction (that may or may not be good). Learning habits are constantly modeled Cognitive, meta-cognitive, and behavioral ‘good stuff’ is constantly modeled. There is an infinite number of possible learning environments, which is what makes teaching so interesting. They will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when they see their work every day as they walk into class. Optimal learning criteria can be defined by the following key categories: I thought that the doors were impressive and had valued meaning to the classroom. The first of these is purely cognitive, but can be thought of as “internal processes of the mind. Simply put, students learn better when they view the learning environment as positive and supportive (Dorman, Aldridge, & Fraser, 2006). Progressive learning (like our 21st Century Model, for example) environments. There are many benefits to children and youth playing outside. Learning habits are constantly modeled. (Interested in how to kill learner curiosity in 12 easy steps?). Research has helped us identify many other benefits to playing outdoors (Children and Nature Network, 2012), such as: 1. I really like Door #5! Inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, direct instruction, peer-to-peer learning, school-to-school, eLearning, Mobile learning, the flipped classroom, and on and on—the possibilities are endless. Open the doors to learning with a school and classroom environment that reflect inclusion and relevance. I have always been a big believer in making a place where we spend so much of our time as cozy and inviting as possible. 2. [or] a development of learning abilities and strategies” (p. 13). Students need to be excited and stimulated for successful learning. 0 0 1 So often what students learn from those around them is less directly didactic, and more indirect and observational. Old errors are reflected on. Starting with that central idea of high expectations and capability of all students is key. Laptops and other mobile devices have great potential to enhance and transform instruction and are being used effectively in many college classrooms.5 Today's students use their devices in class to take notes, access materials and applications, and find relevant information. This aspect links to the first point. This is a tricky balance that middle and high school teachers work with every day. Classroom environment is one of the most important factors affecting student learning. Learning our letter sounds is more of a hip rap. What’s in it for them, and their future opportunities to improve? The students ask the questions—good questions. When instructing, being expressive and infusing sincere emotion into your voice, promotes student enthusiasm and passion. There are many components that go into making a positive learning environment for students. They show five ways to create an optimal learning environment. Check out this great TED Talk… https://www.imagineschools.org/our-resources/. As any trainer or facilitator knows, there’s a surprising amount of thought that goes in to the room set up of any workshop. An effective learning environment encourages learning through play with a rich set of materials and learning opportunities. 6. The classroom learning environment is the student’s first experience of school when they walk into the rooms at the beginning of the school year. I especially like the ending where it talks about the importance of a morning meeting. ), credit (give them points—they love points), creative curation (writing as a kind of graffiti on large post-it pages on the classroom walls), or simply praise and honest respect. The reality is, there is no single answer because teaching and learning are awkward to consider as single events or individual ‘things.’ This is all a bunch of rhetoric until we put on our white coats and study it under a microscope, at which point abstractions like curiosity, authenticity, self-knowledge, and affection will be hard to pin down. Great ideas. And when these sources disagree with one another, use that as an endlessly ‘teachable moment,’ because that’s what the real world is like. Let’s open these doors and discover how to create an optimal learning environment. This makes personalization—and even consistent differentiation—a challenge. Chances are, none are incredible enough to suit every bit of content, curriculum, and learner diversity in your classroom. The optimal learning environment takes this experience into account. 9. Your first step should be to ask them what you could be doing to help them: 1. Unfortuntely, positive learning environments don't just happen on their own–they must be created. Learning is personalized by a variety of criteria. Learning environments can be student- … I think with the older grades creating safe learning environments is critical to engaging our teenagers. It is lite up with soft light and has a curtain top and beaded entrance. 1. Understanding each of the factors contributing to the classroom environment is crucial to the success of any initiative. Cognitive, meta-cognitive, and behavioral ‘good stuff’ is constantly modeled. I like the idea of making the classroom “our” classroom instead of “mine.” That might be a hard transition for me. Learning Environment Learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. So it makes sense that if good questions should lead the learning, there would be value placed on these questions. Are they disengaged from one particular topic? Your email address will not be published. Questions are more important than answers. . Better physical health 2. No question is too small t… OPTIMUM LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. I love this ! This definition recognises that students learn in many different ways in very different contexts. Invest in education and training. As great as it sounds for learners to reflect on Shakespeare to better understand their Uncle Eddie—and they might—depending on that kind of radical transfer to happen entirely in the minds of the learners by design may not be the best idea. Y ou want everyone to arrive engaged and stay engaged to the very end. And that means adding currency whenever possible—grades (questions as assessment! Understanding what motivates people to put forth effort, persevere in the face of obstacles, and choose their behaviors is key to creating an optimal learning environment—the type of school that policy makers desire, but are unknowingly sabotaging (Dweck, 2000). Relate to the interests of your students and the trends of their generation. 8 | NCICLE. I speak to students all the time about how their classmates are like family and that they need to treat each other as such. Then, as you adjust pace, entry points, and rigor accordingly, you’ll have a better chance of having uncovered what the learners truly ‘need.’, 7. I connected with #5 and love the importance of giving choice to students! It can be represented in a variety of ways. By “safe” I don’t simply mean physical safety, but I am really referring to creating a safe environment so that this age group does not feel judged or a risk of failure. Doors four and five speak to knowing our students and connecting with them on deeper levels as well as empowering them (shared values). Some people may see the environment as insignificant, but for teachers, parents, and educators it is something that needs to be considered a high priority. They can act as a kind of criteria to measure your own against–see if you notice a pattern. So we put together one take on the characteristics of a highly effective classroom. 7905 June Reid Place ♦ Salem, OR 97303. Are your students feeling uneasy about the environment that you've already created? Design for different learning needs. Do they like to work by themselves or are they more comfortable breaking down into teams? Criteria for success is balanced and transparent. . This is a great resource, these five ways are action steps to creating an optimal environment for our students. These theories flow from the psychological theories of learning, which include cognitive theories, social cognitive theories, and instructional system design theories (Bertrand, 2003). Assessment is just an (often ham-fisted) attempt to get at what a learner understands. Was it colorful posters, clear and consistent rules, and fun and interesting teaching methods? It should also not be entirely weighted on ‘participation,’ assessment results, attitude, or other individual factors, but rather meaningfully melted into a cohesive framework that makes sense—not to you, your colleagues, or the expert book on your shelf, but the students themselves. Many teachers force students to ask questions at the outset of units or lessons, often to no avail. Image attribution flicker user flickeringbrad and josekevo; 10 Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment, March 19, 2018 - Updated on April 17, 2020, professional development from TeachThought, how to kill learner curiosity in 12 easy steps. Highly-effective and conducive to student-centered learning. This means that every square foot of it needs to be used for activities that support learning. Your classroom arrangement is the physical foundation of where your students will learn. Ideas for lessons, reading, tests, and projects—the fiber of formal learning—should come from a variety of sources. See if you don’t notice a change. In a societal sense, learning environment may refer to the culture of the population it serves and of their location. Rather than rows of computers facing a wall, schools can use cheap piping to conceal wires and face computers in different configurations. There are some really good points about using the classroom door as the initial space of sense and wonder as the kids come in every day. I love the idea of shared decision making and changing the mindset from “my class” to “our class”. Required fields are marked *. Varying the tone, volume, expression and inflection in your voice when introducing new concepts can spark student interest and curiosity. 5 Abbreviation: IP-CLE, interprofessional clinical learning environment. Utilizing volume-control when instructing is also a powerful and effective t… An alternative? Huge shift in credibility. For in-person professional development from TeachThought on how to create an effective learning environment in your classroom or school, contact us today. A blank door does not invoke excitement or learning. 10 Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment. In a highly-effective learning environment, learning doesn’t need to be radically repackaged to make sense in the ‘real world,’ but starts and ends there. Bloom’s taxonomy is constantly traveled up and down, from the simple to the complex in an effort to maximize a student’s opportunities to learn—and demonstrate understanding—of content. There are constant opportunities for practice. 10. One response is to personalize learning—to whatever extent you plan for—by a variety of criteria—not just assessment results or reading level, but interest, readiness-for-content, and others as well. “Change your mindset from my class to our class, to give your students a sense of ownership.” This is so powerful. The brain is a physiological organ which is specialized for making sense, making meaning or 'learning'. Books for students to read after finishing work, pencils, pens, computers are just to name a The learning environment theoriesfocus on different constructs within the educational system that include the student, society, and the content being taught. I wanted to see what was behind the door and what activities could be found. These investments can include effort, finance, coaching, tutoring … On each of about 180 days, for around 13 years, our students spend around six hours in school, ten hours at home and in their communities, and about eight hours asleep. And feedback is quick even when the ‘grading’ may not be. For professional development around this idea or others you read about on TeachThought, contact us. In your quest to foster safe learning environments, your biggest ally along the way will be your learners themselves. I especially think Morning Meetings are important and set the tone for the day ahead. Num… The Classroom Structure in the lesson For starters, a classroom must have the resources needed for students to succeed! Assessment is persistent, authentic, transparent, and never punitive. Students should not have to guess what ‘success’ in a highly-effective classroom looks like. I think this is something that really helps build a strong classroom community. This is not a feel-good implication, but really crucial for the whole learning process to work. Optimal Learning Environments are based on the belief that every student can achieve high expectations. A de-cluttered learning environment is free from distractions and allows the focus to be on learning. Learning is a survival-oriented and therefore a natural function of the brain. I don’t think I’ve made a decision by myself for our classroom since October. Definition of the Environment To understand play, we first must understand the importance of the environment in the eyes of children and adults. Your goal is to create an optimal learning experience. A supportive learning environment can mean the difference between having a good day and a bad day. Classroom learning ’empties’ into a connected community. Why are students being tested? There are four types of learning environments, each with unique elements. Crazy about the doors! Plan on this kind of transfer from the beginning. I really like the idea of having the door reflect that mindset. When all students in a classroom can access networked tools simultaneously, many collaborative learning and just-in-time teaching opportunities emerge. One way is creating different areas of the classroom for the students. Office Fax 503-399-3469. Keep it Positive. Each factor is, in itself, a broad set of issues. • A learning environment that models optimal practice and lifelong learning a Adapted with permission from Hawkins et al. Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, priority, creativity, collaboration, revision, and even the classic Habits of Mind are all great places to start. An optimal classroom environment has a classroom climate full of energy, participation, movement, spirit, respect, learning, sharing, reflecting and big goals for everyone individually and collectively. Instruction is strengths-based, culturally responsive, and personalized to ensure students meet the demands of grade-appropriate standards. A supportive environment facilitates and enhances the social, academic, physical and emotional development of students. I have adapted my learning to the times. Complex ideas are re-approached from new angles. Athletes Become Students of the Sport. In addition, children can experience the plants and animals in their local ecosystem (Greenman, 2007). Appreciation is the … After teaching for thirty years, I would define optimal learning as the aquiring of skills and or knowledge in an environment that supports the student's needs as completely as possible. Personalized learning is likely the future, but for now, the onus for routing students is almost entirely on the shoulders of the classroom teacher. If so, you were lucky to have a teacher who paid close attention to the learning environment, or the Cliché questions that reflect little understanding of the content can discourage teachers from ‘allowing’ them. How to use optimal in a sentence. Since learners must do the learning, the aim is to create a total environment for learning that optimises the ability of students to learn. Learning environments vary from classroom to classroom and context to context. Creating that sense of belonging and unique bond reminds me of strong classroom cultures that develop mission statements and truly strong inclusive cultures. The role of curiosity has been studied (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little to no natural curiosity, prospects for meaningful interaction with texts, media, and specific tasks are bleak. Push the comfort zone. https://www.imagineschools.org/our-resources/, Celebrating Imagine Schools 2020 Promising Practices, Imagine Schools Wins National Award for Character Education, Imagine Scholars Emphasize Resilience in 2020 National Character Essay Contest, Imagine Schools COVID-19 (Coronavirus) News. Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, priority, creativity, collaboration, revision, and even the classic Habits of Mind are all great places to start. I ask the students to repeat the answer to my question twice so that everyone has the chance to answer with a correct answer. These five classroom doors give insight to each teacher’s vision while concurrently focusing on the students. Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement analyzes the psychological, social, and academic phenomena comprising engagement, framing it as critical to learning and development. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. But the fact remains—if students can’t ask great questions—even as young as elementary school—something, somewhere is unplugged. I want to do door #2 right now. Are you moving from one lesson to another too quickly? Have you ever noticed what the teacher did to make learning more inviting? 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