How could changing the lighting in your classroom help with behavior?!
Well, as you may know, I spent an entire summer researching ways to dramatically improve my behavior management plan after a truly horrible year. With this research, a topic kept coming up that I knew would – an influx of students with autism. I saw a couple of articles that stated since the spectrum was so large, we sometimes aren’t certain whether a child is on it until later or maybe not even find out at all. If these students are on it, little triggers can agitate them. And the biggest agitator could be THE LIGHTING IN YOUR CLASSROOM!
It was something I knew I had to change.
I was desperate for a better year and, to me, this was an easy and affordable change. Plus – I had a dream of making my classroom have more of a “homey” feel and I felt like lamps would definitely help with that. I love lamp light at home so I knew I would enjoy it in my classroom so I felt like this was a win/win situation.
How can changing the lighting in your classroom be this effective?
The research that I came across had different reasons for the lights effecting everyone like they do. Here are some of them:
– There is a blue light emitted from ceiling florescent light that can trigger headaches.
– The light waves are more intense which can trigger hyperactivity.
– Like some loud sounds, bright lights can bother autistic children.
With this info, I decided it was definitely worth a try to make the adjustment.
Where do you put them?
I scattered 4 lamps around my room:
-One near my kidney table
-One on my desk due to its central location
-Another near the computers (not shown because they are behind me)
– One towards the front of the class
What was the outcome?
Since I began at the beginning of the year, I am not certain if my students were affected by the ceiling lights BUT I noticed an overall calmness in my classroom. The lights definitely gave my classroom that homey feel I was longing for. My students over the next few years seemed at ease. My classroom had two sets of ceiling lights. Since using only the lamps it was a tad too dark, I used on set of classroom lights. This only illuminated two lights on my ceiling and the rest was lamp light. It was perfect. If someone walked in and turned on both sets of lights, one of my students would run up and turn one off. It was very apparent that they loved the lamp light as well.
If possible, I urge you to try lamp lighting. Your classroom is where your students spend most of their day. Make it a calm, and inviting place to everyone!