Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Learning Spaces Matter

Each day in the enrichment space is different.  Some days tables are pushed back against walls so that students can design and execute experiments.  Some days students are sitting at tables. Some days students are sitting various places around the room working in small groups--on the floor, on the couch, etc.  Some days students are creating a puppet show in the theater while others work at iPads or on the white board.

I think it is so important that the classroom space is fluid and dynamic.  The classroom space must change with student grade level needs and with the subject matter.  When I reflect about the ways that students learn best I realize the need to further diversify our learning space options.  How can I create a quiet work space area while still providing awesome opportunities for conversational exploration by others?  I am still trying to optimize our options..but I feel truly grateful to have been given the opportunity this year to create a space that provides learners with both choice and freedom of movement.  

Sometimes in those five minute transitions between classes I sigh(and groan!) at the thought of trying to change furniture and space, to set up materials, and keep my positivity so that I can greet every student with a smile and a comment as they enter......but then I recognize that these changes are setting the stage for learning.  This space either contributes to or detracts from the learning experience.    Below are some pictures of students learning in the enrichment space....I think they capture the need for space diversification.

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