Sometimes less is more in a learning environment

It’s too much!  Classrooms are busy places!  There is always a lot going on. 

For some students, this can make the learning process difficult.  For example, teachers often need to project their voices to be heard by all students in attendance. This voice projection, however, could be too loud for your child, causing them to focus on the volume of the voice, not the concepts the voice is attempting to communicate. 

Some students are uncomfortable with close proximity, and if your child’s teacher is getting too close and making your child uncomfortable, that is what they are thinking about, not what the teacher is trying to help them learn at that time.  

Furthermore, the walls of a classroom are historically filled with bright decorations and posters. In combination with fluorescent lighting, this can create an uncomfortable learning environment for some students.  They can’t focus their attention on their teacher. Instead, these students are distracted by the other overpowering stimuli in the room. 

Oftentimes, the teacher cannot control the temperature in their classrooms and it is either too hot or too cold.  It is difficult for your child to concentrate on a test or the task at hand when he or she is shivering and their sweater keeps falling off their shoulders.  A lack of concentration can manifest from all of these stimuli because the overwhelmed and overstimulated child wants to be done and to get away from the uncomfortable situation. Sometimes, students who are looking out the window are not daydreaming, but resetting their brains because their senses are overloaded. 

Incorporating sensory balance within a classroom environment is an oftentimes underrated learning approach that can help facilitate enhanced learning for elementary students. If your child is showing signs of sensory overload, it may be time to have a conversation with the teacher and find a learning partner or tutor to help them learn in a calmer, less chaotic atmosphere.

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