Monday, September 1, 2014

New Classroom Crib

The Good The Bad and the Old Way

Week one is done and the students have been introduced to their new "classroom crib". You see, I'm not thinking about how many rows of desks and chairs I'm going to have or how these desks are going to be arranged to best fit "my needs". Its not about me and how the classroom will look. Its about what's best for my students and the conversations they are going to be having with each other to have "purposeful" learning. Classroom design is a huge undertaking on every teachers "to do" lists when school begins. Teachers spend hours designing and redesigning desks and chairs over and over to get their classrooms ready for back to school. This summer I read lots of PD books and classroom teacher blogs that "inspired" me to redesign my classroom much differently than last year. One of my favorite books titled "The Third Teacher" was an excellent resource that helped me design my classroom with a sense of "purpose" this year. I continue on this journey of "redesigning learning" and that also includes changing my classroom to be an environment of "deeper conversations" and "out of the box thinking". 

Classroom Crib Challenge

I came across a challenge this summer mentioned by my dear friend +Erin Klein and how classroom design can affect student learning to be more "purposeful" and "fun" all at the same time. So this year, I decluttered my entire classroom after moving to a different hallway, and redesigned with a "purpose" in mind. Erin talks about color scheme, organization, collaboration with peers and how the environment plays a key role in student engagement. Another blog that inspired me was +Nicholas Provenzano and how he was going to transform his classroom this next school year. I can't wait to read his blog and learn from other educators who are taking the "plunge" into redesigning their classrooms.

Classroom Design Matters

How we design our classroom matters and it matters to the students who are actively participating in discussions and project based learning. It matters when I ask them for feedback and what I need to do to make it a fun and inviting learning environment. It matters when they tell me that their favorite learning space in the classroom is the "big joe iCafe" lounge area and how it makes them feel special! This kind of feedback matters so that I can continue to provide a learning environment that helps my students feel safe and take risks in their learning. It matters because ELL learners and all learners need to feel a sense of "purpose" in their lives and how they can connect with other students from around the globe to share their learning. I am so excited about this year and the new challenges brought before us! I hope our new "classroom crib" has inspired you in some small way! I want to thank all those educators before me who have given me a sense of "purpose and change" (my @getoneword) to be a better and more innovative instructor to help my students have a more purposeful learning experience this 2014-15 school year! Here is a small video of my new classroom crib and some before pictures of a "once upon a little bilingual classroom". 

My New Classroom Crib

Once before of what it used to look like.....