Sunday, August 28, 2011

A New Year: Designing the Learning Environment

We started school this past Thursday, and I feel like I have been in a whirlwind ever since! Even though we only had 2 days with students, I have lots of planning and organizing to do to set up for the month of September!
These pictures represent the classroom environment, "pre-students, " except for the picture that shows the students' "getting to know you wordles" from an exercise shared by the fabulous Paula Naugle, a teacher in New Orleans. 

 This table is currently too close to the wall and will need to be moved out a bit before we use it. I plan to work with small groups of students here.
The fun paisley border represents the colorful, unique voices of the writers whose work will adorn this board.
 The director's chair is mainly for student presentations. I probably will only sit in that chair when I do a "read-aloud."

 On the far wall, I have a global map ready for us to mark our Skype calls with people around the world. I am hoping to connect my students with students, teachers, and experts all around the world. We will be participating in the Mystery State/Country Skype project and have also already scheduled a Skype an Author call.

 Our "All about Me Wordles" look fabulous hanging via suction cups on our big windows. I know that I am fortunate to have these big bright windows and beautiful trees outside of them.
 Another view of the room, this time with my desk visible in the corner. I have it shoved so far back that I can barely get behind it. The fact is that I so rarely sit at my desk, I am contemplating not having it in the future. One step at at time, though...
 Those cabinets are for storage and our desktop computers. I plan to utilize those computers as well as a shared laptop cart and a small number of ipads to integrate technology in meaningful, productive ways.
The purple stability balls on top are awaiting inflation and will be used hopefully this week. Students are so excited to use them!

On our second day of school, students spent some time brainstorming about their ideal classroom. They came up with this list of class agreements and then wrote and illustrated them for our bulletin board.

I look forward to sharing more pictures as I set up the rest of the classroom. I am awaiting a new carpet for a community discussion space, as well as some fun cushions and ottoman type seats for comfy reading spaces.

I would love to hear from others about how they have set up their classrooms for optimal learning. Please leave a link to your blog posts or resources that address this important topic!


Marci Laevens said...

Thanks for posting the pictures of your classroom. I have just spent the last two weeks painting and setting up my classroom so I am very interested in seeing what my colleagues are doing. I especially like the directors chair! Here's wishing you a great 2011-2012 year.

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thank you Marci for the comment! For some reason, I never replied! I have made some changes and plan to blog with them soon.
I love seeing what other educators are doing as well.