Physical aspects of a student-centered classroom
Sometimes what seems like a little change can make a big difference. That’s what two Proctor Elementary School teachers recently confirmed when they decided to incorporate flexible seating into their classrooms.
It’s been such a success that now every classroom in their school features some sort of flexible seating options for students.
Getting up and shaking it off works for middle grades students
Remember the last time you had to sit through meetings all day? You probably woke up in the morning dreading the amount of time you would have to sit and listen to others talk, while being expected to contribute to the conversation, only getting up for the occasional bathroom or lunch break.
While we dread these isolated incidents, we put our students through it day in and day out. So instead, let’s get up and move!
Expand your classroom and keep kids engaged
The 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?
Create open, flexible, engaging spaces for active student learning.
The beginning of the school year! Desks, mailboxes, coat hooks labeled. Books organized, materials in bins. This task is often overlooked and underestimated in terms of time. How can you create a welcoming, flexible and inspired space? Here are some tips and ideas.
Just get some help dragging those desks around, okay?
A visualization exercise for changing classrooms
It’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.
Flexible classroom spaces encourage flexible learning
My 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.