Saturday, April 28, 2018

Creating the Co-Lab

Our local grant source, The Wayland Public Schools Foundation (WPSF), is providing the funding to create a grade-level co-lab, a place for interdisciplinary student project/problem solving collaboration. I am very excited about this as it will give me the environment and inspiration to foster more hands-on, relevant collaborative learning at fifth grade.

Since the WPSF did not fund the entire grant, I reached out to a local organization asking for the remaining dollars, we'll see if they are able to provide that. If not, I may reach out to other places. If you know of funding sources for this kind of donation, please let me know.

In the meantime, it's my job to restructure the classroom to make space for this new equipment. What do I need to do?
  • Arrange all classroom tools and equipment in existing storage units in easy-to-access and find ways. I want students to be able to acquire the tools they need when they need them to solve problems and complete projects.
  • Organize the room so that collaborative groups have wall space to use for design and organization. I have several existing white boards or bulletin boards, and I may need to acquire one more for the back wall.
  • Sort equipment and materials in meaningful ways. I'll likely have a chemistry corner, creativity space, environmental studies, informational books, book nook with fiction books, math tools, and everyday supplies including pens, paper, clips. . . area.
  • Move most desks out of the room.
  • Acquire more modern seating.
The key to this whole design will be to design it so students can be empowered to lead their learning in responsible, creative, systematic, and meaningful ways. With that said, it's clear that I'll need to engage the students in the design process as well. 

I welcome your ideas as I create this collaborative learning space.