Attention-Getting Power of Color

Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!

I was inspired to write this week’s blog by a teacher that swears by the power of color to help students with attention-deficit disorder achieve success in writing. Her testimonials about the effectiveness of color-coded learning led me to check out research into the properties of color. What I found works for all students, really, for everyone with eyes to see.

Color is amazing! Stop and think about this…For something that has neither body nor substance, color is a brilliant part of our world. Think about the way that you describe everything and you’ll hear color words come repeatedly to your ears. Listening for what comes to your ears, by the way, is a great way to get kids learning in all subject areas, not just when writing.

Research data collected for commercial outcomes offers insight into the power of color that teachers can apply in educating kids. For example, some sources suggest that with printed information of any kind, color pieces are eighty percent more likely to be read than print in only black and white. It’s a no-brainer to know that what is most read will also be most remembered. Isnt’ that why teachers choose classroom posters in brilliant colors. Color catches the eye and is likely to leave a lasting impression. That’s good news, but as you may have heard on color television…”Wait, there’s more…”

Research into the persuasive properties of color also shows that color speeds learning by up to seventy percent. This data opens up a world of opportunity for teachers. You may need to print masters to be copied for class distribution in black and white, but vital information such as notices about desired classroom conduct, school policies and most importantly, basic instruction, are more likely to be remembered when they are in color.

I believe that teachers are forced to compete with commercial ventures of all kinds today to catch and keep K – 5 students’ attention. So, it seems reasonable to search for ways to apply commercial data to educational goals. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your students’ productivity, for example, consider what else researchers have discovered about color:

Color helps people find information up to eighty percent faster that do documents printed in only black and white. That’s because color documents are easier to read and understand and they help improve efficiency. This benefit connects nicely with data that shows that color increases reading comprehension by as much as seventy-three percent.

The power of teaching with color explains the growing popularity of teaching tools like computer-based white boards that allow you to write and highlight in different colors. Trick is, adding color while teaching takes time and needs to be a mastered technique to be well-integrated into the delivery of lessons.

Colorful computer-based teaching and learning can be wonderful until the moments we utter what some call the four most feared words in many languages of the world today…”The computer is down.”

Another challenge that any K – 5 teacher faces today in applying the power of color in teaching environments that are full of distractions is how to get color to stand out in a world of color! Answer: Use the power of your own personality. After all, you are the master of your classroom universe and your students – free spirits as they are – are still under your command.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!

Talk with you next week,

Barbara The Lovable Poet

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  1. […] also supports the assertion that color helps people find information. Explore more of the power of color as a teaching tool. Use colorful tricks, including the hat in the blog pic here, for teaching basic […]

  2. […] children to sound out each word – courage, kindness – and think about the power behind the […]

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You