During a brainstorming session with fourth graders about making school more fun (we were practicing our brainstorming skills to prepare for deciding on our capstone project topics) several students brought up the idea of being involved in the set up of their classrooms. As some other classes had exploratory time later in the week, I decided to have a few options in which students could contribute to the design of the enrichment classroom. This is something I had not thought of for explore time, because I had assumed that it might feel too much like a teacher task instead of an exploratory center. But with the student input in mind I offered up the design of a bulletin board and the development of an organizational system for my classroom library. Students jumped at the chance!
I am so grateful for students who voice their opinions and ideas--not only because of these great new additions to the enrichment classroom, but because their ideas teach me how to provide learning opportunities that matter to them.