Dynamic Learning Environments

Well, it is a new school year! I have been so behind on blogging and that is a shame. I don’t even edit my blog and I really need to do that! I need an accountability partner, any takers? I wanted to share my classroom design for this year and thoughts behind the set-up.

Why does the learning environment matter? Why is it important for new teachers (teachers in general) to consider the design of the classroom, where resources are located, how they arrange their desks, etc?

The physical design of the classroom can impact the most important thing about your classroom, how it operates. Having a well-planned, student-friendly room can make the difference in the learning environment of your classroom. If you want to have a dynamic learning environment then you must be strategic in all decisions. It is important to consider the morale of the classroom and students’ learning. So I could continue with the “why” to get you to buy into why classroom design is important, provided with research and great facts. (And don’t get me wrong it is super important and it is very cool information)

However, I would rather just tell you my story. It makes this blog personal and it allows me to reflect. My way is not the right way or wrong way, but sharing my story through this blog is what makes me feel connected to my readers.

I changed schools this year and so I had to move classrooms. While this can be overwhelming, it was also exciting. The chance to start over and redesign my room offered me an opportunity to be a new teacher this year. I loved my classroom last year, my students were AMAZING, and I had an amazing year. Nothing was wrong with my design and I loved the teacher I was last year, but what I love in this profession is that you are never at your best. You can always improve and your students need you to have a growth mindset. When you think you master something, it is about that time that: 1-something changes 2-new resources become available 3-you get a new audience 4-infrasture improves 5-a new challenge arises 6-we all know this list could keep going. Most importantly, you always have the opportunity to reflect, tweak, improve, or completely change something to be more effective and transformative.

So, I decided to take big risks this year and make this THE BEST YEAR YET! (until next year of course) A very inspiring leader, Latoya Dixon, told me that I need to live 2 seconds from the wall and so I am doing what I think a good teacher should….. listen to the advice of an obvious super star. Why play it safe, what will my students gain from that? Average. Oh no, my students deserve more than that. Nothing is right or wrong when your reason is for the betterment of children!

What does 2 seconds from the wall mean in my classroom design?

I wanted a variety of

1- Literacy Area (Because every child should read, write, and speak daily! Make a fun area in your classroom)

2-Makerspace Area (I want to empower my students to create, build, tinker, and innovate)

3-PBL Area (An area established for inquiry and problem-solving)

4-Classroom Resources (Provide what your students need in order to be successful!)

5-Collaborative & Inquiry-Based Environment (Develop the environment established for collaboration and self-directed learning)

6-Resource and Tech friendly (I purchased powers strips and I established a digital literacy bulletin board. I even have QR codes that showcase history professions)

7-Student Input & Personalized Learning (Suggestion board, Multiple areas in the classrooms so you can truly differentiate)

8-Positive Team Atmosphere (This is established in the design as well as the climate you create)

9- Community Connections (For the first time I included parents on my classroom expectation bulletin board. My students created the expectations themselves to “own” our classroom and I included PARENTS at open house) I hope to establish an environment that brings not just parents, but the community into the classroom)

10- Gamification (Whoop Whoop.. I am gamified! Chronicles of History!)

Here is my classroom! Check us out at https://twitter.com/MrsCarter_SS