Teaching Ideas : Classroom Temperatures
There are a number of techniques that you can use to manage high summer temperatures in the classroom.
Take steps to make sure that the classroom environment is as cool as possible and develop ways of ensuring that the children can stay hydrated when they are working throughout the school day.
You can also select classroom activities to minimise energetic movements on hot days. On some days you can plan lessons and activities in the school grounds to manage days with high temperatures and hot sunshine
There are a number of strategies that you can use to manage the environment in the classroom on hot summer days. Ensure that you open all of the windows and doors in the classroom to create airflows around the room. You can also cover any windows that receive direct sunshine in black sugar paper or heavy dark cloth to shield the classroom from the sunshine and create shaded areas. Try and make a cool and calm classroom environment where the class can shelter from the hot sunshine during the day. Encourage the children to avoid moving around the classroom during the lesson by selecting appropriate activities and on table access to equipment and materials.
It is important that the children stay hydrated throughout the school day by providing them with access to water. Each child should be encouraged to leave their water bottle out on their table which they can access during the lesson. Use management strategies to enable to the children to refill their bottles during the lesson using rules for accessing the tap in the classroom such as only one person at the tap at a time or allowing each table to refill their bottles during specific times during a lesson such as children on the red table can use the classroom tap between the start of the hour and ten minutes past. Once the class are settled into the routine then this will avoid crowding and time wasting at the classroom tap.
It is also important to choose the best lessons and activities to match the temperatures in the classroom. On hot days, try selecting activities that the children can complete individually with limited movement around the classroom avoiding interactions with their classmates. This will help to create a cool and calm classroom environment to minimise the effects of the high temperatures on work effect and behaviour. Try and adapt any active classroom activities to make them more suitable for hot days. Keep your timetable flexible so that you swap more active lessons for cooler weather days in the classroom. For example, plan product making in Design Technology lessons for cooler days and select portrait drawing in Art and Design for hotter days.
On really hot days you can take your class out into the school grounds to work in a cool shaded area. At the start of the school year, you can train the children how to move the tables and chairs out of the classroom safely. Give each table pair in the classroom a number which they can use to move the tables out of the classroom starting from closest to the door. When the children move the tables back into the classroom they can do so in the reverse order. When working outside get the class to spread out in a shaded area by a school wall or underneath some trees in the school grounds. Make sure that the children are fully briefed about activities to complete when working outside. You can introduce any lessons in the classroom before sending the class out to work in a shaded area with the necessary resources and materials.
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