It’s that time of the year when most of us get an extra kick in our step and our productivity soars. Whether it’s the extra daylight we get or the fact that everything around us in in bloom, spring has been proven to have positive effects on our wellbeing (or should we say ‘wellfeeling’).
When interviewed by The Huffington post, Dr. Kelly Rohan, a professor of psychiatric science at the University of Vermont, shared that while warmer weather doesn’t make a sizable difference in outlook, research supports the idea that nice weather has a positive psychological impact on the overall population.
But how can you channel Spring’s contagious energy into and out of the classroom to boost student learning? Here are seven ideas, the first three being FrontRow’s and the rest being neuroscience-based ones from Dr. Judy Willis:
- Turn up the music!
Using Conductor, select uplifting music to play in specific school zones or the whole campus during recess or lunch time.
- Leave Springy homework
Take photos of flowers and plants that are popular in your school’s neighborhood or download them from the internet. Then, using lesson capture, create an MP4 recording with instructions to find as many of the pictured items as possible and bring them into class on a determined date. The students will be able to watch the instructions at home with their parents and get to know their neighborhood’s flora.
- Lecture outdoors
Enjoy class outside without straining your voice to be heard. Basking in the sunlight for even part of class would be a treat to students and teachers alike. Completely portable, FrontRow’s ToGo is perfect for holding class outside or anywhere else you need quick and easy voice or media amplification. The Guardian’s article “The science of spring: how a change in seasons can boost classroom learning,” written by neurologist and former classroom teacher Dr. Judy Willis, explains how switching from winter to spring can improve students’ moods and increase their energy levels. In addition to diving into the neuroscience of it, Willis proceeds to provide a list of actions teachers can take to academically capitalize on spring’s effects—listed here in summarized form, but please follow the link at the end of this post for more of Dr. Willis’ insights.
- Encourage curiosity
“…by asking students what else they would like to know about a topic. This gives students more interest and means they are more likely to remember the information because of the positive energy (dopamine).”
- Beware of changed sleep and study schedules
“Help students promote their awareness of the potential problems related to increased daylight hours. Guide them to plan after school-hours to avoid homework delay and sleep deprivation.”
- Use the spring and summer months for creativity
“Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for children to be creative and make choices about what they want to study.”
- Keep yourself energized
“It is tempting to stay out later and enjoy the spring weather and the renewal of nature around you. So keep in mind the pleasurable goal of feeling uplifted, refreshed and energetic the following day to help you resist the lure of the light.”
Let's bask in the delight of spring!