Ideas For Limiting Visual Distractions

Do your students get easily distracted? One way to help students stay focused in the classroom is to limit visual business in the classroom. Here are a couple of ways to modify the environment to help keep students focused and engaged. While my classroom is a special education classroom, these ideas can be used in any classroom.

Organize and contain materials in order to reduce visual clutter in your classroom.

Clearing or hiding away classroom materials will make your classroom look neater and won't draw the attention of your distractable students. That sounds great, but in sped I always feel like we have so much stuff!! That isn't a problem! Here are some ideas for hiding or containing your materials.

Hide It!

Cover of hide the visual distractions.... AKA all of our materials! In the picture below, I hid all of the materials on the bookshelf with dark blue felt.

hide clutter to reduce visual distractions

I attached the felt to the bookshelf with Velcro. This allows me to remove it during the summer and when I am trying to get out materials or organize the shelves. 

attach felt or fabric to shelves to hide and cover visual distractions and clutter.

As you can see, the covered book shelf is easier on the eyes and less distracting then seeing all of the materials.

Cover shelves to help your students focus on instruction.

When you choose your felt or fabric, look for solid colors. Try to stick with 1 to 2 colors so you don't create extra visual distractions with your coverings. 

No See Through Containers!

Plastic containers are fantastic for helping us organize all of the materials we need to meet our students' needs, but it can also be another distraction. When I first got this organization system I LOVED it, but then I noticed that it looked busy. 

See through containers can help us organizes, but can visually distract students.

Spray paint to the rescue!!

Camouflage materials by spray painting clear storage containers.
See how much better it looks?!?!?

Contain it!

Another great way to reduce visual distractions is to contain it in a storage bin or folder. Here is a look at how I contain all of the materials I need for the week while staying organized. 

Easy system for organizing lesson plan materials.

Inside each folder are the materials needed for the group labeled on the front of the folder. Click to read more: Easy & Organized.

Click for more on how I organize my classroom: Classroom Set-up.

1 comment

  1. Wonderful tips, and great blog. I wish I had this when I was a little girl but I grew up with typewriters. Keep up the wonderful work. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)