Designing Classrooms of the Future Now!, pp. 6 of 11

Design Idea #3: Emulate Museum Spaces

Interviewer: You have some interesting objects and artifacts in the room, are these just for aesthetic purposes or are they part of the way you teach Reading and Language Arts?

Kate: Physical items can be very effective learning tools for teaching. I talk a fair amount about brain research, so even though I am a literature teacher, I use this plastic model of the brain to illustrate to students how their brains are processing at this age. I also hope that the items in my classroom will allow the sense of touch and feel to be a part of their writing and reading experience. Sometimes I have them bring in items to class to help in this process.

Design Idea #4: Expand Virtually

Interviewer: It looks like all of your students have laptop computers. Do you take technology into account in your classroom design?

Kate: Students cannot be prepared for the present let alone the future without up to date technology skills. My students communicate their work to me, their peers and their parents through blogs, videos, voice casts and other formats on a regular basis. When I present information to them via the LCD projector, I know they have to have a good line of sight and a clear image. When we are working in the class I like to have nice natural light coming in, but when we are looking at computer screens I know that I have to darken the room slightly for good visibility. There are lots of factors to consider when using technology.

In the Elementary Division at the Singapore American School, Alice Early and Rindi Baildon team teach two 4th Grade classes with adjoining rooms. They too recently moved classrooms and have made changes in their classroom designs.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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