For this weeks assignment we were asked to create a learning space for the 21st Century. I am always looking for ways to update and rejuvenate my classroom. The first steps I needed to take to prepare myself was to do the following: watch a TED talk by David Kelly, watch a YouTube video by Tedde van Gelderen, looking at an excerpt from the book Experience and Education by John Dewey, Looking at The Third Teacher+ site, reading an article Redesigning Education: Why Can’t We Be in Kindergarten for Life?, and then I watching the trailer for Remake Your Class. This weeks information helped me to see that I have to push myself outside of my comfort zones in order to create a great atmosphere for my students. I realize that there is nothing wrong with setting my classroom up in a more friendly and inviting way ” In a kindergarten classroom, while there are walls with white boards or smart boards, the “front” of the room is indistinguishable. Every available wall and surface is an opportunity to display student work. The design allows students to explore many different ways of learning in the classroom–it’s learner-centered space” (Lanks, 2013). Why not think of my room like a Kindergarten classroom? Why not bring my students back to a time when school was fun?
Currently I am in a 60 year old school that has had little to no updates. The room are cinder block with only one window. Each room is traditionally a big square (approximately 40×40). All rooms are white and there is minimal room for extra “spaces” within the classroom. As for technology, we received a grant to bring in Promethean boards, iPads and other new “technology” to the classrooms.
For my 21st Century room, I would like to create a room of stations. I would like to have two reading stations, one with bean bags, one with butterfly chairs. The students will be sitting 4 to a “desk” (each desk is made up of two tables). The teachers desk will be in the back corner of the room. I really like this idea, because I still have a place for myself, but it is not in front of the classroom. Students do not have to look at it all day. There will be bookshelves throughout the classroom with high interest reading. Also in the back of the room will be the iPad cart, each student will be responsible for retrieving and returning their iPad each class period. Finally, I will leave the walls pretty bare (ready for student work). These ideas will help me to really implement the ideas of multiple intelligences and learning styles in my course design. When I have “stations” for my students to work in, I believe all students will feel free to explore and find ways to be successful. When students can feel the importance of being in the classroom (time, flow, participation, and emotion), the only thing that can happen is greatness. Though I do not feel my SketchUp Make does my idea justice.
In order to make my ideal classroom come to life I would need the the following: 16 tables (provided), 3 bean bags ($21.00 each/Meijer), 3 butterfly chairs ($26.00/ amazon.com), bookshelves (3-3 shelf $26.00, 3-5 shelf $36.00), iPad cart (provided), projector (provided), screen (provided). So all in all I would need to spend approximately $350.00. To come up with the money for this project I would put a listing on donorschoose.org. To implement the changes I would need the support of building administrators, my fellow teachers and of course the backbone of any school, the custodial staff.
To get my ideas going, I would need to submit a proposal to my administrator. From here I would then have to wait for my needed materials to be bought. I truly feel this classroom idea would not be hard to implement even on a smaller level. Again, I just have to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone and create an environment that worked for my students.
Changschools (2010, February 9). Tedde van Gelderen on Experience Design . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB4VFKn7MA4
Edutopia (2013, March 13). Remake Your Class (Trailer) . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXjEcnaYAmc
Lanks, Belinda. (2013). Redesigning Education: Why Can’t We Be in Kindergarten for Life? Retrieved from http://www.fastcodesign.com/1637619/redesigning-education-why-cant-we-be-in-kindergarten-for-life.
TED Talks (2007, May). David Kelley: Human-centered design . Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_on_human_centered_design.html
The Third Teacher+. (2010). TTT ideas flash cards [PDF]. Retrieved from http://static.squarespace.com/static/509c0d15e4b058edb8f35a86/t/50ec7ca4e4b01d8c697c0b6c/1357675684568/79%20Ideas%20Overall%20List.pdf