After seeing how unrealistically spacious some of the floor plans were, we gave another designing assignment to the students. This time however, they were given stricter parameters to follow with dimensions for all pieces of furniture in the classroom that aligned with grid paper they were each given. The students were incredibly invested in the activity and were eager to share their plans for the classroom with their peers and teachers. We were surprised to see that many blueprints included individual desks, even though when given the choice students rarely choose to sit at their assigned desk space to work.
This week, we brainstormed as a class the elements of our classroom that we absolutely must have as well as items we dream to have. We developed a comprehensive list ranging from the necessity of a whole group learning space to the aspirations of a hammock or loft. After creating this list, students were given the option to work either independently or with a small group to design their dream classroom on chart paper. Below are some samples that students created.
Currently in our classroom we are working on a project to make our environment reflect the 21st Century classroom with flexible learning space. We will include three different kinds of seating: floor, desks and chairs, and standing tables as options for students to choose where they feel they work best. The current research in education says that giving students more choice in where they sit to learn and do their work results in greater focus and engagement, and ultimately, more learning! Explore the blog to follow our journey.
Here are some links to articles and videos that have inspired this change:
Mr. Robertson and Ms. Monica will be updating this blog with information about our flexible seating project. We will be sharing pictures, videos, and other exciting aspects about this experience.