5 More Ways to Enhance the Classroom Learning Environment
In our first installment of Classroom Enrichment ideas, we explored various enrichment subjects that could enhance the classroom learning environment through the introduction of parents and community volunteers who attend class to lead lessons. We talked about technology, gardening, art, foreign languages, and nutrition in our first installment which you won’t want to miss. Check out 5 more ways to enrich the classroom experience:
1. Music: More than ever, music is readily available to young people via the radio, itunes, youtoube, and television. Encourage students to explore their musical interests (beyond the typical pop they may be used to) by bringing in local musicians to exhibit their talents and instruments – a banjo or dulcimer lesson, a cello or harp performance, you name it. Discussing different genres like classical, jazz, and world music will incite students to pursue varying music styles on their own.
2. Nature Knowledge: Perfect during the fall months as the foliage changes colors and the seasonal transformation begins, nature knowledge is a must. Bring in local forestry experts to illustrate for students everything from how to tell the age of trees, to what poison ivy looks like and even the migration patterns of birds in winter. General know-how in science, ecology and nature also helps kids build respect for the world around them.
3. Media: Do you know any local news anchors or journalists? Wouldn’t kids love a behind-the-scenes look at how news programs and newspapers gather information and operate day to day? Bring in the professionals (possible with camera equipment or recording devices), and watch kids enjoy a simulated interview or get everyone in on a sample news report of “what’s happening in the classroom.”
4. Dance: Gloria Estefan was right, the rhythm is gonna get you! Without disturbing other classes of course, get the kids outside and dancing! Whether it’s a few partnering ballroom steps, line and square dancing, or some hip hop sequences, kids will love to get moving to their favorite tunes. Encourage students to feel free and comfortable and not worry what others are thinking – embrace movement and spark interest in dance as an art!
5. Health & Wellness: Sure kids love to get up and moving, whether it’s playing their favorite sport or simply enjoying recess; but do they know how movement actually benefits their body and mind? Track down parents with backgrounds in medicine and fitness and ask them to share their expertise with the class – students will be amazed by the human body once it is really broken down for them, and the processes through which their heart, brain and other organs help them be better students.