Learning Barriers You Must Remove

Concentrating, no matter what time of year it is, can be rough for students. Between other students fiddling with this or that, a new wall display, or simply things at home students get distracted. While not everything is in our control, there are some things that certainly are, and we need to be aware of them. What are they you may ask? Here are a few learning barriers that you must remove from the classroom. 

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Learning Barrier 1: Sensory Overload 

We read all the time about having a Pinterest worthy classroom, but does a Pinterest worthy classroom come at a cost? While yes, you want your room to be cute, comfortable, and functional, you also want to make sure it is not overstimulating. Two areas that can become cumbersome in a rush are busy bulletin boards and literacy center disasters. 

Bulletin Boards

If you have a new or old bulletin board in your classroom and it is full of things to read, bright colors, or interactive review tools, it might be a bit too much.

When you have too much in one space it can lead to sensory overload for your students and create a lack of focus. This lack of focus becomes a learning barrier usually not just for the one student but for those around them as well. 

Literacy Centers 

Another area that can go from a place of educational epiphanies to destination distraction are messy or inappropriately placed literacy centers. Most of our centers are meant to be interactive and fun for students. They take the form of spiral reviews or WBT activities which is fantastic, but it can be distracting.


When you set up your literacy centers, make sure everything is tucked away in an out of sight out of mind type of way. When students can’t see it, they can’t get too distracted by it and you avoid sensory overload. 

Learning Barrier 2: Noise Control 

Another learning barrier that you can control in your classroom is the noise level. When you have something in your classroom that makes noise whether that’s a class pet, a mini-fridge that beeps, or a coffee pot that sputters it can be a distraction.

When students get distracted learning barriers are created. Sometimes the drip, drip, drip of the faucet is all a student needs to become derailed and chaos is on the horizon. Make sure you have minimal noise factors in your classroom to ensure your students are staying right on track. 

Learning Barrier 3: Mixed Up Procedures 

Distraction has been the main learning barrier I have discussed so far. But confusion is probably one of the worst learning barriers of all, right behind boredom. When you change things up in the classroom for no apparent reason, students or a student may become confused.

Kids, just like adults, tend to thrive on structure. When our structure or normal proceedings are thrown off, it can be a bit more than troublesome to us. If you plan on changing anything in your classroom, make sure you talk to students about the change. This way they can come into class prepared. 

Learning Barrier 4: Drill and Kill 

Another learning barrier that we have a tendency to say “So what?” to is boredom. We never thought our teachers cared whether we were bored or not but they probably did to some extent.

I’m not saying you have to be a three-ring circus of entertainment. But, if you dread doing something, like a drill and kill method when getting ready for state testing, then your students probably dread it to.

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Instead of doing something you and your students don’t like, try to find something fun that will help them remember more. It is scientifically proven that we remember things that have an experience with them because we can make connections.

So, help your students make memorable connections and have some fun while removing a learning barrier from your classroom. 

Learning barriers create struggles. While struggling can be good it doesn’t have to be a part of a student’s school environment. Yes, there are many we can’t control, like a student’s home life. There are several that we can like the ones listed above, but this is not a finite list!

Whenever you encounter a learning barrier in your classroom, try to find innovative ways to remove it. The more learning barriers you remove from your classroom, the more successful your classroom will be. 

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