What makes my students different than any other student? Everything! Every year I am blessed to get a new group of kiddos that are not alike in anyway. They all learn better in different ways, have their own strengths and weaknesses, and help me to grow as an educator and human being.
Everyone has a different learning style and environment which is best suited for them, and I am trying to embrace that within my classroom.
As an elementary teacher, no two students that enter my room learn in the exact same way. Some students learn best in an environment that is completely silent and the lights dimmed, whereas others benefit from sitting on a cushion while listening to music softly.
When you have work to take home, whether it be school work or something you have to get done for work, where do you go? Do you sit at your desk with the lights turned up and keep it absolutely silent, do you get comfy on the couch and turn on your favorite show for background noise, or do you go to the kitchen table and spread your materials out while standing? You have options of where you can work that work best for you. That is what I am wanting to bring into my classroom. Options. I want my students to be able to figure out where and how they learn best.
How I remember a classroom being set up, was simply rows of desks kept separate where students were quiet for most of the day and did not interact with one another.
That is NOT how the students work in my classroom. We explore different concepts by performing experiments, researching, and trial and error. We interact with one another to help everyone be the best they can be, whether it's during writing time, novel studies, or STEM projects. We are all over the place, being active participants in our learning. With this type of learning going on, the "traditional" classroom is not best for the students.
Some students like to stand at the standing tables and wiggle around while they work. Others like to get comfy, which the futons and bungee chair are perfect for! The coffee table will be a hard surface for students to use as they sit on cushions. There are also some who still like a traditional desk and chair. Since we will not have as many desks in the room, the cubbies will be where the students place their materials.
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