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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is Your Classroom a Learning Lab?

Image Reference
Learning: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.

Laboratory: a room or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching.

Is your classroom a learning lab? If so, what makes this true?

I continually reshape and remake the learning environment to support student learning. Each time I change the room, it doesn't look much different than the time before, but it does provide better access to the current learning goals.

Stand-Up Desk Resource
Learning Access
The key factor is that the room and all the materials in it make learning accessible to students. It's also important that the students see the classroom as their own and know how to use it to forward their learning.

Personal Space
In this regard, it's important that every child has a space for his/her things. Whether this is a draw, file, or desk. There is a need for some personal space.

Supply Organization
The room also has to have a place for all the supplies that support today's hands-on exploration, study, and learning. These materials have to be well placed, easy to access, and easy to organize. That's always a challenge for me since I have hundreds of different supplies from scissors to tape to recyclables to math manipulatives, books, and more.

Multiple Learning Opportunities
The room has to have space for quiet study, creation, experiment, meetings, conferences, and presentation.

Comfortable and Welcoming
The classroom needs to be comfortable too offering a variety of seating and working areas. Hoki stools, stand-up desks, tables, bean bag chairs, and other innovative and creative furniture can support the creation of this welcoming home away from home.

Inspiring, Informative Signage
The room's signage should support the learning too. It should be signage that is welcoming, inspiring, and informative.

Active Learning Labs
There's lots to consider as we turn our classrooms from purely presentation spaces to active, inclusive labs of learning. I plan to make another change to my classroom tomorrow as I continue to edge towards this direction.