During #nErDcampMI inevitably I reflected on what I was hearing and learning. Several topics came up frequently. These were my big takeaways from #nErDcampMI:
1) The importance of building relationships with your students and tapping into their interests as learners and readers.
2) Incorporating some level of choice in student reading, writing and learning. As educators we can still narrow the scope, but choice creates intrinsic learning.
3) Educators should be modeling and sharing more. Let students see what you are reading and talk to your students about the book.
4) Embrace technology in the learning environment...unfortunately this still exists in our classrooms...
All of that was wonderful, the discussions were engaging, productive and thoughtful. But there was one more topic that really caught my interest...
5) Classroom Learning Spaces! Teachers were openly discussing getting rid of student desks, teacher desks and transforming learning spaces to best meet the needs of students.
What I enjoyed most about these conversations was the simple fact, it wasn't about the cutesy posters...it was centered on pedagogy and student learning. I consistently heard educators talking about open spaces and having the ability to meet the changing needs of their students. The conversations were fantastic! As an administrator I enter several classrooms each day and I see the benefits of well organized, student friendly learning spaces.
What happened after #nErDcampMI was ironic. Within days I was contacted by +Erin Klein and +A.J. Juliani about doing a post on Classroom Learning Spaces. Then I read a post by my friend +Nicholas Provenzano his post is titled: NerdySpaces
This really got my wheels spinning. This is the ideal time of the year for educators to redesign classroom learning spaces. As I wrap up this post I will leave you with a couple of things to think about -
First, classrooms must be hinged around student learning. Is the space student-friendly and flexible in meeting the diverse needs of our students?
Second, classrooms should be interactive, creative and adaptive. Does the space allow for communication and collaboration?
Finally, is your learning space teacher-centric or student-centric? Have you ever asked the students how they feel in the space?
Next week I will be focused squarely on Learning Spaces and I will share an exciting challenge that begins in August. Stay tuned for part two...
Articles Worth Reading:
Teacher adopts boy... @TODAYshow
Videos Worth Watching:
Re-Designing the Classroom Experience (8 min)
Finish Line... (8 min)
RE2PECT! (2 min)