Congratulations….you have won the opportunity to redesign your classroom! It is the beginning of a new school year, a fresh start, it is time to set the stage for the wonderful possibilities ahead.
Does it really matter how your classroom is set up? Maybe you will just leave it the same as you had it last year, it worked out okay and you already have all your classroom procedures in place then. Why spend time rearranging and move things around? Is it really worth the time and effort?
“A poor classroom design can stifle student creativity and promote negative learning habits, negating the teacher’s impact”. (eSchool News, Dr. Marshall, 7-20-17)
“Classroom design could be attributed to a 25 percent impact, positive or negative, on a student’s progress over the course of an academic year. The difference between the best- and worst-designed classrooms covered? A full year’s worth of academic progress.” (Co. Design, Kyle Vanhemert, 2013).
Oh…okay…maybe it is worth a second look. But where to start? Don’t worry you don’t need to walk around aimlessly for hours brainstorming, I’ve done the research for you! I found several websites, publications, podcasts, etc. all stating best practices for creating learner centered spaces; and while each had a different number of “key elements” they all shared common themes which I felt was best summarised through a blog post through Envision on 7-21-17 who suggested the following 6 elements of creating a new classroom design as outlined below. I have also includes several quick, inexpensive, and compliant 🙂 ideas to start transforming your classroom today!
Remember, “Other industries have evolved far more than the classroom. We would struggle to identify an 18th-century doctor’s office, a 19th-century newsroom and even a 20th– century farm. Each has gone through radical overhauls in equipment, technology, and design. But the classroom remains unchanged, holding back our 21st-century students.”(eSchool News, Dr. Marshall, 7-20-17) As I said, you have won the ability to transform your classroom this year, let’s make a difference!
I would like to share and celebrate all of the “innovative” classroom designs taking place within our county. If you could take pictures, videos, etc. of your classroom (or a creative colleagues’) and send them to me to share out with others I would greatly appreciate it, or if you would like, I would love to come and visit your classroom and see your space first-hand!
Please shoot me an email or text to arrange a visit and/or share your photos with me so that we can continue the dialogue and use each other as resources.
In the spirit of “sharing” and learning from one-another here are a few pictures of my very first classroom arrangement many years ago (a “what-not-to-do” if you will)!
Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning