Friday, October 17, 2014

Creating a Warm, Intellectual, Playful Learning Environment

Who would think that room design would take such a predominant role in my school life in the past 48 hours. But it has.

Very early this morning, I met the directive to move all materials from the window area of my classroom so a maintenance activity could be performed. Sadly this came right smack in the middle of my first attempt at the Global Cardboard Challenge--a project that created far more disruptive innovation than I expected, but a project that students have met with wonderful creativity, collaboration, and problem solving.

Anyways, the directive catapulted me into a cleaning, sorting, purging frenzy as I renovated my new classroom by removing several pieces of furniture, lots of books, and other materials. It was a big job, and one that I'm happy is behind me.

Now, however, the next challenge calls me, the challenge to lift the classroom environment to a warm, intellectual, playful learning environment.

What will that take?

Yet another book sort. I'm going to get rid of all, but the most special books. I hope to keep about 200-300 books tops.

Then the STEAM center redo--resorting and organizing the plastic cabinets I have in the room to support students' creative, problem solving/project work.

Then the math center--making sure the math materials are easy to access when students need them.

My coaching corner and the students' organization area need a boost too.

The room is ready for the students and I to work at this next level of room design. I have many students who are very excited to help.  I'll enlist their support.

Changing grades is a big job--one that requires lots of revision and change to meet students' needs as well as the curriculum program. Onward.