Sunday, January 1, 2012
A New Year, A New Arrangement
You might remember this empty-walled picture in August as I arranged the classroom for a new community of learners. A few days ago I forced myself out of my house to go to school for a little winter cleaning. It seemed necessary with a new year to rearrange furniture for a new look. However, I really loved this last arrangement. Traffic flowed. There were small spaces, large spaces, quiet spaces, playful spaces. Why change something that works? Who knows...
My daughter, who was there to provide moral support and prepare for her upcoming student teaching advised me to leave it alone if it works well, but I could not. Students will enjoy coming back to a little change. So I started moving furniture. I moved and moved and moved furniture. Hours later I had an arrangement I think will work.
The Heart of the Room: The center of the classroom should be something that gets at the heart of the community. The small table in the middle of the room is everyone's favorite spot to work. This space fills quickly across all workshops. This is also a favorite table for collaborative work. I wrestled with moving this table away from the window, but I think students will enjoy having it right in the center of everything.
Spaces for Play: In Ohio, we seem to spend a lot of time indoors at recess. The months of December to February seem to be filled with an overabundance of inside recess days. For this reason, I wanted to create spaces where students could build, play games, and create in small groups all around the room. Spreading the tables out helped to create more large areas of floor space for students to play and work.
Technology: In this arrangement I wanted to maintain a place to easily plug in laptop carts and connect to the network. I left space near the computers to make this easier. Additionally, many students use voice recording to publish their work digitally. For this reason, I moved the tall shelf behind a set of computers (see NOW picture above) to help maintain a quieter space for speaking. This shelf should also help when students are using the webcam for pictures and video as it will filter the movement in the classroom as well.
So the room is clean. The furniture is rearranged. New supplies await. Looking forward to a "new start" in our learning community. Should be fun.