Desks, chairs and tables- oh my! Middle school students are often stuffed in rows and directed towards the 'sage on the stage'...but what they really need is a soft space where they can collaborate in groups or enjoy some independent reading. Creating a softer space to learn is my goal, please help.
Seventh graders are an interesting group- they are capable of many things, their skill level is high, but unfortunately their anxiety level can be as well.
The pressure to achieve and perform well needs to be tempered in this pivotal year. The emphasis needs to shift from earning to learning- to recognize that the process is every bit as important as the goal. Creating an area of the room, which includes soft furnishings, can help communicate this paradigm shift. We are a Chicago Public School- though we are set apart in many ways. Many of our students are high achieving, and many struggle. Diversity is abundant. When my 7th graders participate in cooperative learning groups the ability scores range from 4-11th grade reading levels. Imagine how that plays out in a classroom environment. Safety in a classroom does not only mean physical safety, but also intellectual safety. Do desks in obedient rows create an atmosphere where a safe exchange of ideas can flow freely... safely?
When introducing a new novel or topic for discussion, students will be invited to come to the "Think Tank"- that's the carpeted area. Here they can share their ideas and thoughts on topics. Think-pair-shares are easier in less linear formations. Students can better hear and contribute ideas. I can better document their suggestions and thoughts. Classrooms that include an environment which is inviting and can be utilized for small group and independent learning is what the 21st century learner needs. Gone are the days where one size (whole group) instruction fits all. The carpeted area will be a place where students can experience the softer side of learning. It's a place where they can: work in small groups, read independently and receive, as well as contribute, to instruction. I envision the space will be shared and utilized by all of the students. Learning how to share and use the space is a lesson we will all learn as well!
Contributing to this makeover will be helping to create a paradigm shift.
You will be prying 21st century learners out of their formal desks and onto friendly ground, a space that will help move students from solitary to shared learning, from reading literature to savoring it, from rigid to inviting. Help me deconstruct the formal into something more inviting and appealing. It's not just a rug, it's a space that fits in a classroom where diversity is celebrated and ideas are safely shared.Read More
|CARPET 7'8''X 10'9'' LATITUDE RUG SPECIFY COLOR • ABC School Supply, Inc||$317.76||1||$317.76|
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