Designing Classrooms of the Future Now!, pp. 9 of 11

Design Idea #9: Make Classrooms Agile

Interviewer: This is my second time back to your classrooms and it seems like things have changed a bit, have you moved your tables to new locations?

Rindi: Yes! By getting to know our students and seeing what spaces they are choosing as their optimal learning space we have started shifting tables and chairs around the rooms. I teach math in “my” classroom where I use the overhead projector and interactive white board consistently and am continually shifting furniture to allow students to be able to see the whiteboard, work in small groups or with partners, and to be seen and heard when presenting ideas to the large group. A lot of the furniture can be easily moved to provide different groupings for the activity on hand. Even a stack of pillows or carpet squares can be used to define a book club on the spot. I suspect the furniture will be continually changing and moving in our rooms, as our students develop and grow as learners (and teachers too!).

Design Idea #10: Display Learning

Interviewer: I have noticed that you, Alice and Kate all have a lot of student work up on the walls. Do you see that as important in your room design?

Rindi So important! Who doesn’t want to see their work on display?! There is a focus at our school to display teaching charts for students to access key learning targets and lesson discussion points in each unit as well as to display student work. It is important not only to have a balance of both types of work on display, but to keep questioning, “When is there enough?” as it is easy to visually overload some students in your classroom. Using iPads to take photos of teaching charts and personal work is a great way to preserve all of this great
work and student learning and to keep the classroom visually comfortable for all.

Alice Each of us has made a “personality poster” to show students a little about ourselves outside of SAS. These posters are unbelievably valuable. The students brought in photos and then were taught about color, mounting, and captioning and then they assembled the whole thing at school. We’ve learned so much about each other from this! And a huge PLUS from this project is we have more “art” in the classroom. These posters are a work of art! We’ve recently gifted our hallway bulletin boards to students who want to share information with the school. We’re excited to see where they take this responsibility!

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

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with new journal issues!