Historically, getting an education was limited to a select few, but now, more people have access to schools now than ever before. Classrooms are where students from different backgrounds come to learn, so it’s important everybody has a suitable learning environment. One of the ways of doing this is by creating a sensory-friendly classroom. If you aren’t familiar with this or unsure how to implement it, you’ll want to keep reading this article to learn more.
5 Tips for Teachers Who Wish To Create a Sensory-Friendly Classroom
As a teacher, it’s important to create a classroom environment that is welcoming and accommodating for all students, including those with sensory sensitivities, so here are 5 tips on how to achieve this below.
- Keep The Noise Level Low
Loud and unexpected noises can be overwhelming for students with sensory sensitivities. This can end up distracting them and even causing discomfort. So, to create a sensory-friendly classroom, try to keep the noise level low and predictable. Consider using noise-cancelling headphones or white noise machines to help block out distractions. You should also ensure your mobile devices are kept on mute during class.
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- Create A Calm And Comfortable Environment
Students with sensory sensitivities may benefit from a calm and comfortable classroom environment. So, you should consider adding soft lighting, comfortable seating, and calming decor to help create a relaxing atmosphere. However, this might require some support from school management, so consult the necessary figures before proceeding.
- Offer Sensory Tools
There will be times when, despite your best efforts, occasional disruptions in your class affect your students. So, it’s a good idea to prepare for such scenarios by providing sensory tools. Examples include tools, such as fidget toys, stress balls, and weighted blankets, which can be helpful for students with sensory sensitivities.
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- Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can be helpful for students with sensory sensitivities, as they provide a clear and predictable way to communicate information. Next time you have a class, consider using visual schedules, charts, and diagrams to help students understand the classroom expectations and routines. They are more likely to feel relaxed and even better focused when they know what to expect.
- Provide Breaks
For many teachers, it can feel like there isn’t enough time to teach, but this shouldn’t discourage you from including pause periods in your class. Students with sensory sensitivities may need frequent breaks throughout the day to help regulate their sensory systems. By offering short sensory breaks, such as a few minutes of quiet time or a quick walk around the classroom, you would be playing your part in creating a suitable learning environment for your students.
Creating a sensory-friendly class is not easy, but it’s important. Following the tips outlined in this article, you should hopefully find the inspiration to improve your students’ learning environment. If you enjoyed this article, consider sharing it with friends and family you know will also benefit.
Diane Sherron is an online educator and part-time freelancer. She decided to start helping more students through her blog posts as she found it helped her reach a wider audience. Her goal is to ensure that every classroom has students’ needs in mind. While she loves her job, Diane always makes time to pause and recharge by going for walks in the local park.