Classroom Storage for Responsive Learning - Gratnells Trays and Their Functionality
Making the most of your space is important in any environment, but when it comes to classrooms, nurseries or any learning environment, it becomes crucial. Order and organisation are essential in educational contexts, especially in early ages and primary stages. Classroom storage is a topic that requires particular attention, because in an educational environment storage is about more than keeping items contained, it’s about making sure the units are safe, that storage is secure, but also that some items are easily accessible.
Most classrooms have tray storage units, because trays provide great storage capacity for stationary, toys, crafts and other such items you’d generally have in a classroom. Gratnells trays are most popular and not just due to their bright, cheerful colours, but mainly due to their high quality. Gratnell trays are BSI tested for heavy educational use and they’re suitable for a multitude of applications, so it’s easy to see why many nurseries and schools prefer them, especially since they fit standard school furniture as well.
What is productive learning environment?
A productive learning environment is an environment that boosts children’s learning and academic skills and reduces behaviour problems at the same time. It’s an approach that has been associated not only with higher student achievement, but also greater teacher effectiveness and a significantly improved school climate. Now, a productive learning environment, also known as responsive learning, is connected to many aspects of the classroom climate, from teacher-student interactions to the design of physical space and, ultimately to repository facilities, whether it’s a Gratnells storage tray or an entire tray cupboard.
The more studies researchers have conducted the more they’ve established that physical space in the classroom has great impact on learning and on class productivity. It’s all related to focus and attention, as children, especially at early ages, are very easily distracted and their attention span is even more affected when they’re uncomfortable. Many children feel out of place in classrooms every day, because the space was not designed with them in mind, so the chairs are too big or too small, the tables are too low, the aisles too narrow or the displays too high.
Moreover, school districts all over UK have been facing monetary tensions for quite some time now, which meant not only shrinking budgets, but also bulging class sizes equalling to reduced classroom space. A way too crowded classroom, with a myriad of supplies and other teaching tools climbing on the walls and protruding students’ space is certainly not the best environment for productive learning.
What does classroom storage have to do with responsive learning?
All this responsive learning approach really makes sense but you might start to wonder what does it all have to do with Gratnells trays and storage cabinets? Well, designing the ideal classroom space starts with a few basic considerations, one of them being furniture that fits the children’s bodies and another adequate storage. Today, much of the learning process is done with the help of technology and multi-media learning devices, which come in addition to the traditional line of books, games, toys, art crafts and many other such tools that teachers use to engage children and help them learn. Suffice to say that classrooms need to store many a things and while adequate furniture is important, adequate shelving and storage is essential. Here is where Gratnell trays come into play and tray storage of the sort as well. Too many materials crowding the classroom don’t just pose a threat to responsive learning, but they can also create a safety hazard.
There are plenty of classroom and school storage units that prove to be real space savers, from art materials storage and classroom cupboards to tilt storage units and filing systems. And, as mentioned above, most of these solutions are based on trays and tray storage, because Gratnells trays are highly qualitative and they offer great storage capabilities for various needs. For instance, the A3 tray range can easily be used for art paper storage while deep trays can be used for art materials like paint brushes and paints. In addition, if you combine the two ranges into a wooden unit with slots or shelves, then you get a great storage system that takes care of plenty of your classroom items. The same goes for all of the materials within a classroom, from books and toys to lunch boxes and clothes.
When thinking about classroom storage, whether with Gratnells storage tray systems or not, it’s important to consider certain criteria, such as all storage should have at least one clear purpose and preferably more than one, as to reduce the amount of units in a classroom. Not only that, but each child should have his or her individual storage space, again at least one, although the ideal situation would be to have two - one for learning materials and one for personal items. Storage should also be easily accessible to children, without creating safety hazards, so that they can reach and use what they need or want without always feeling like they are helpless and in constant need of assistance.
How to improve responsiveness in children?
It’s no brainer that responsiveness in children is impacted by a lot more than classroom storage, but studies have also shown that this is not an aspect to be ignored or set aside. Apparently, it does have enough effect as to matter, so what else is it that can be done to instil responsive learning? Well, the studies have also shown that physical activity improves brain storage and memory access, so keep the children moving. Of course, for kids to have safe pathways for moving about, you need adequate classroom storage, so it all revolves around the same idea of carefully choosing and placing storage units.
Apart from the fact that having the right kind of classroom storage allows for movement of the children, which has been proved to stimulate the long-term storage function of the brain, meaning children can remember and recall much easier, there are other benefits as well. A crowded environment is an overstimulating environment and that is conducive to behaviour problems, not to mention hard to keep clean. Children need more than clear pathways to move, they also need uncluttered spaces to work properly and be able to pay attention and learn and what’s a better way to declutter a space than storage units?
In addition to creating the best possible learning environment for the children as to improve their responsiveness, storage units can also be used as to make the most of your resources. For instance, there are mobile Gratnells tray storage units, fitted with castors, so that you can move them around the classroom, which will help you use your resources in various circumstances and classroom events.