Designing Classrooms of the Future Now!, pp. 8 of 11

Design Idea #7: Swivel to Attention

Interviewer: I notice you also have mobile chairs. Do you find you have behavior problems when you give students at this age chairs on wheels?

Rindi: Kids love the “wheelie chairs” which has to do with novelty as well as being able to move while learning, which for some really enhances their ability to focus while engaged in an activity. We work with the kids in determining what kind of space they feel they can work best in. Do they prefer to have the ability to twist or move? Do they need to sit more stationary on the floor? Do they work best at the traditional desk and chair? Or standing?  Does the task at hand have you choosing different kinds of seating? At this time in the year we don’t seem to have enough wheelie chairs, but it will be interesting to see if this shifts throughout the year as students become more aware of “place and space” – of their learning styles and preferred space for optimal learning.

Design Idea #8: Shuffle the Deck

Interviewer: Since we have been talking I have noticed that Rindi has moved her students into your room. Is this part of your overall design and why?

Alice: We are moving the students a lot. When I’m the “main teacher” I’m usually set up in this room so it’s easier for everyone to gather here. We feel like these 44 students are OURS and it’s our hope that they feel comfortable and energized in this whole space (both classrooms). It’s been wonderful to give these students the chance to learn from both of us. When Rindi teaches I can work with students individually or in small groups. I can assist where needed. Or, I can observe students to make sure they are attentive or on task. Then when it’s my turn to take the lead, I have so much more energy!

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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