The Benefits of Doodling in the Classroom 

Doodling is an act often perceived as “idle” or “distractive”.  It is usually frowned upon in classroom and in meetings.  Doodling can be defined as the spontaneous act of drawing.  I myself have been guilty of accusing a student of not paying attention while doodling during instruction.  I have also been the doodler on many occasions in staff meetings, and workshops.  Doodling usually clears the mental clipboard in my mind of all the loose ends that need my attention.  Usually , I can focus on the presentation if I’m doodling.  I often find myself uncomfortable with my doodling and stop as soon as I loose focus.

Lately, there has been a shift in the perception of doodling.  In the past few years adult coloring books have grown in popularity.  In check out counters across the country mixed in with the word searches and books of crosswords are books of Doodle Art.

Why the sudden fascination with Doodling or Doodle Art. There is new research that supports the conclusion that there are many benefits to Doodling. It can help with concentration.  A research study conducted in 2009 found that participants who doodled during a phone call was able to recall 29 percent more information. It can also ease tension, and provide enjoyment.  In 2011, Australian educational researchers from 3 Universities conducted a joint study to test the 2009 study.  The study was conducted in science classes.  Science relies heavily on images and visual, and the students were encouraged to draw during lectures.  The study found that not only did students retain more information. They reported that they actually had a great time doodling, it bought a level of enjoyment to their learning.

A few individuals are bringing the art form to the mainstream.  Sunni Brown is leading the charge with, The Doodle Revolution.  Whose main purpose is to disrupt social norms on visual learning and thinking.  She is a champion in the practice of Doodling and discribes the many benefits in her TED talk.

Give Doodling a try in your classroom.  Click link for a Free math Doodle Note for your students in my TpT store.  Also available,  Math Doodle Notes for grades 2-5.

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