Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Is your program decor causing Cognitive Overload?

Reading an article today Decoration or Distraction from over at the Conversation blog and as the new school year approaches it is a great refresher on the importance of truly reflecting on the aesthetics in ones program and is the decor something that is going to enhance learning or is it something that will contribute to cognitive overload and actually result in distraction from learning and in some of today's students actually contribute to their feelings of anxiety in the program! 

Like the author of the article once upon a time I too use to spend my weekends leading up to a new 'theme' transforming my classroom bulletin boards and windows and just about every visible surface into a reflection of the 'theme' we were about to embark on. I used to LOVE making my own bulletin board sets and painting or coloring them with markers  however when we know better we DO better and I have long since purged my theme related 'room decor' and instead choose to adorn the walls with less in order for it to be more for the children. 

The more I read about things like Cognitive Load theory and anxiety in the early years the more I realize that when it comes to our early learning settings the environment really is the third teacher and one of things it needs to be in order to be an effective teacher is a calming soothing setting!

 This is a quick shot of my playroom lay out in my home based programming

One of my goals this month is to do some purging and reorganizing of the playroom and to help remove some of the distracting color in order to focus on the play items.

I am slowly investing in swapping out my red baskets for a more natural wicker option.

I am also debating on either relocating the puppet theater to outdoors where there would be more room to enjoy it or to repaint it to a more neutral palette so that the theater itself is not so distracting in the room.

I have already invested in a new carpet to replace the foam mats which will help on numerous levels in toning down the competing colors in the room!

One of the things I love about being an early childhood educator that is even after 30 years in the field there is still room for growth and learning new things!

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

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