My first week back after #ignition2012 seems to have flown by in a haze of some awesomeness.
Classroom-redesign – I haven’t been at all happy with the way my classroom is configured and have been lusting after creating a more flexible learning space. However after @annekenn challenged me to take the kids on board, one of my first activities to start the term was a world cafe for students to redesign the classroom. I asked them two questions, the first was how we could make our classroom more like the library and the second was what would happen if we got ride of some of our classroom desks. Following the discussions and some inspiration from my PLN, I gave the kids some butcher paper and let the to it.
The ideas that the kids come with were amazing and got me to thinking. Despite the fact we consign our kids to 12 years in schools how many classrooms are designed by kids and in some cases with kids in mind. Who made the rule that kids need to sit at desks to work? At home I work on the sofa, the floor and right now I am writing on my bed.
Over the break I went out and bought some buckets but didn’t tell the kids what they are for. They were pretty quick to pick up that the buckets could be used to store kid’s belonging which would enable us to get rid of some tables in favour of some more floor space. However my des is definitely first on the list! It’s largely a dumping group for junk and I think a set of drawers might suit my purposes far better than a traditional office desk.
Which is where the Daily 5 comes in. Over the past week I’ve managed to introduce Read to Self which was rather easy to implement as Silent Reading had already been established in the classroom. However I was amazed that when given the choice, how many unknown nooks and crannies the kids were able to find to curl up in.
Read to others has been interesting to implement as well. So many juicy learning conversations were overheard and I had a number of reluctant readers were exposed to books and strategies outside of what I could have ever hoped to introduce. At the moment I am scaffolding the kids into full choice by getting them to choose one session out of three. Hopefully over the next few weeks they will be able to manage by themselves.
One of my reluctant readers declared that they don’t want to go out to Friday Fun in favour of reading. Oh dear did I create a monster?
Sounds like things are really getting going in your classroom, exciting stuff! Don’t get rid of your teacher’s desk though – get the kids to turn it into a learning centre or a different type of learning environment to be used in the room in a different way – maybe a collaboration table or something!
Thanks so much for the suggestion always great stuff to be made from re-using old stuff.
Oh Stephanie, how exciting… pure MAGIC to read of your learning adventures! Did I really challenge you? I am so inspired by letting the learners lead the learning and ‘learn to love to learn’ that I can’t help sharing my adventure. I am so in awe of your ability to take our chat and turn it into such a monumental step in the learning journey. Ignition really was the MAGIC wasn’t it. I really am handing more and more over to my learners. Tomorrow we are reflecting on where we are at with our learning and setting up our three way conferences. I can’t wait to hear more about your MAGICAL journey….
Thanks you did challenge me but in a very good way to think a bit further out of the box. Handing stuff over to the kids is hard, and is actually a lot more work but soooo much more worth it in the long run.
Second try, just lost one comment! Sounds like you are really getting in to class design. The bucket manufacterers must be wondering about the increased sales!
Sounds like you are rocking daily five too, hope it continues to go well, kids thrive on choice just like us.
I certainly got some weird looks walking down the street with nearly 30 or so of those buckets! Next year I think I will launch the buckets as goodie bags ala ignite!