8 ideas for outdoor learning

Expand your classroom and keep kids engaged

flexible classroomsThe weather is getting nicer. The sun is finally out. And you are in charge of keeping your class engaged, focused and ...inside? Ha!

Any teacher who has experienced spring in Vermont knows that students get a little wiggly this time of year. What’s a great way to harness that energy and keep students engaged with school to the very end of the year?

Get. OUT.

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Creating cooperative learning spaces

A visualization exercise for changing classrooms

flexible classroomsIt’s not your imagination. It really is the time of year when everyone gets a little wiggly. (Or a little more wiggly than usual.)

But how does your classroom layout respond to that energy? Does it honor it or stifle it? Can your students fling their arms wide to express their excitement over an idea, or are they squished into one-size-fits-someone seats with no rollers? The upcoming summer is a great time to plan a bold new layout for your new cooperative learning space.

Unsure where to begin? Let’s through an activity together to evaluate the state of your classroom (and other learning spaces), and make concrete steps for transformation.

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Creating flexible classrooms for personalized learning

Flexible classroom spaces encourage flexible learning

flexible classroomsMy principal in Baltimore came into my classroom one day and saw one of my students, Bree, standing next to a bookshelf in the back of my room with her laptop open and her things strewn about the surface. He approached her and asked, “Why aren’t you in your seat?” With her usual display of attitude, Bree shrugged him off and kept working. Bree worked almost every day at that bookshelf because she worked better standing and was able to focus better with a little distance from her peers. I didn’t ask Bree to work there — she selected for herself the environment that served her needs.

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