“Wow. My classroom never looked like this!”

April 10, 2008

It was the first day of school and my classroom was a buzzing hype of excitement and awe. Small groups were forming, chatting pointing and smiling about the way the room was arranged.

classroom 2“A couch! Cool. Looks like a lounge room” says a wide-eyed newbie to the room.
“Check out all the cute stuffed toys,” says her friend.
“My classroom never looked like this,” joins in Sam.
And these were just a sample of comments coming from the parents!!
You can imagine the pleasure I felt when I could hear these positive comments, and the affirmation that this may have been the beginning a great learning environment. Hesitantly the parents left their children’s classroom and my year began with a new group of students.

I have to thank the forward thinking leadership in one of my schools for supporting teachers in their questdisplays-and-eq-12-copy.jpg for creating learning spaces that were appealing and inviting to students. As teachers we were given a small budget at the beginning of the year that was purposefully for establishing a learning environment. This supplemented what we as teachers often spend ourselves creating the classroom we would want to spend time in if we were students.

What can I buy this year? Hmm lets see –
• Floor cushions
• Dr Seuss stuffed toys
• Oils and a new oil burner
• Stable tables for floor work
• Colourful table covers

Now what have I got from home that I can use –Classroom
• An old but comfy couch and recliner
• More stuffed toys my kids no longer want
• Floor rug
• A pink CD player
• Bean bag and scatter cushions

“Now kids, what can we do to make this our room?” I ask.
“Can we paint the tables like Mrs M’s room?” ask the kids.

So we set off on our first inquiry of the year…
How do we create a great place to learn? How should we paint the tables? What colours should we use? What sort of designs would promote thinking and learning? How do we decide the groups we work in?

Now where are the computers?

Entry Filed under: learning,pedagogy,spaces. Posted in  learning ,pedagogy ,spaces Tags: .



3 Comments Add your own

  •    schoolspirit  |  April 10th, 2008 at 9:18 pm     

    Aw, you put me to shame! I’ve got the Footrot Flats Dog sitting on the telly, and a little dog on my desk, but things like a warm and fuzzy board of couches and stuff? The kids’ll love it, eh? I have enough trouble keeping the little buggers off my own chair!

    I actually like the idea of painting the tables too, that would have been one great big mess of fun.

    Cheers.

  •    helenotway  |  April 10th, 2008 at 9:53 pm     

    Schoolspirit,

    Thanks for your comment. It made me laugh. Kids had a ball painting the tables. We put in lots of time into the planning and design! And then had the messy fun of painting them.

    Learning should be “one great big mess of fun!”

    Helen

  •    James Webber  |  April 17th, 2008 at 1:23 pm     

    Helen

    Do you really think it is the appropriate …use of classroom IT (computers)
    and the positioning of teacher and resources which… suppports
    good learning?
    How important is the teachers positioning in a school language lab
    and the grouping of students in a language class to develop childrens learning and IT skills

    Jim

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A blog by Helen Otway

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I began this blog in 2007 as a teacher. Since then I have become a principal and have continued to use this space as my reflective blog. You can also find me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/helen-otway/3a/37a/539 and Twitter @helenotway
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