Creative Spaces in Your Classroom
Published on Feb 16, 2023 by Jess Reider
How designated creative spaces can reduce student stress, spark creativity, and open students’ minds to science and technology concepts.
It’s true, your classroom’s primary function is to facilitate learning. But what if that wasn’t all it had to be? By developing and designating creative spaces in your classroom, you can help students unlock interests in STEM/STEAM education, spark their creative prowess, and even reduce their anxiety.
Spaces like this don’t have to be over-the-top or costly; you can use materials and tech you already have or reach out to your administrators for support. Here are some ideas for creative spaces you can develop in your classroom:
- Creative Work Station - Set up a laptop or tablet in your classroom where students can develop creative assets for extra credit. Instead of writing up an essay, encourage students to create things like podcasts, infographics, or videos to display their understanding of the current course material.
- STEM Bins - Set up a section of your classroom with STEM bins. These bins can contain an engineering manipulative of your choice, such as LEGO bricks, pattern blocks, plastic cups, or toothpicks and clay. Accompany the boxes with sets of task cards that picture a variety of basic real-world structures to inspire students to build. Challenge students who finish classwork early to head to the STEM bins and create as many structures as they can before class is over!
- Gallery Walks - During a gallery walk, students are invited to explore texts or images that have been placed around the classroom. Turning your classroom into a museum for a day can get students up and moving as well as engaging with one another and the course content. You can also utilize gallery walks as a way for students to display projects and share their work with peers.
For more on developing creative spaces in your classroom, check out these articles:
5 Ways to Use STEM Bins to Encourage Creative Thinking
6 Key Areas of Middle School Classrooms
Transforming Unused School Spaces Into Something Amazing
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