I always knew that color affects people differently but I then started to think: "Can color affect how students learn?”.
Most of us in Canada are currently preparing our classrooms for our new school year. We always strive to understand what can help or be a detriment to our students, how we can hook them, how to make them succeed and reach their full potential. We use differentiated instructional approaches, we continue to develop professionally, we read, we discuss and we collaborate with others to be the best for our students every year. Our classrooms a place for personalization, of pride and of continuous metamorphosis. We prepare them with care, to make them as attractive, appealing and conducive to a fantastic learning environment. We use posters, charts; We create bulletin boards, we choose themes for the year and we are meticulous in planning out that space!
But, how many of us consider the backdrop while planning out this year’s classroom space?
Did you know that color can be used to help students' focus and increase their learning? However, if the wrong color is used, it could also be a detriment to learning?
High contrast and bright colors are intellectually stimulating and can increase mental focus for younger children. Those same colors can be too distracting for older students. More subdued hues can be less distracting in the upper grades.
Understanding the effects of color on learning can be used to our advantage, as one more way to prepare the best for our students!
For example, If we know that high contrast and bright colors are distracting, then think about putting those bright colors where you tend to do more demonstrating which would draw greater attention in that direction.
Using neutral or pastel colors (blues, greens, primary colors) in the area where students are to work and concentrate, allows better productivity due to their soothing nature and decreased levels of distraction.
Due to this calming effect, students are more open to new ideas. Wow, I had no idea!
Use yellows and oranges to help students’ creative energy!
Did you know to stay away from white and off white shades because they are boring, make students restless and cause frustration?
Do you want students to pay greater attention to detail? Use red!
Red is known to energize and make students more attentive to mistakes. But beware because red does not invoke creativity, but is linked to aggressive behavior!
So what will you do? How will you prepare and set up your classroom? Do you have the liberty to make these changes in your classroom? How much freedom do you have in decorating your room?
Let us know what you have done, post your pictures, what has worked and how it has worked.
We would love to hear from you!
For other resources, and great products, visit us at www.teachingrocks.ca
NeoCON. The Impact of Color on Learning. (accessed August 2, 2012)
NPR. Study: Seeing Red, Blue Affects Outcome of Tasks. (accessed August 2, 2012)