Our school is located in California. Students at our school come from a variety of different economic backgrounds. In our district, over 70% of our students receive free lunch, and English Learners make up 20% of the population (with over seven different declared languages). As diverse as our students are economically and culturally, they are diverse in their academics.
Fourth grade is the year when students become "upper graders".
Along with this comes a developing understanding of how choices will impact the future. More responsibilities are placed on the shoulders of this age group, and the need to be given opportunities to flourish, no matter what the style of learning becomes even more prevalent. Fourth graders at our school learn the effects of history in California, participate in activities to relive those events, and design community projects that will make a difference in the surrounding area of the school. We strive to develop 21st Century Learners, who will be ready to think critically and collaborate in the real world!
The past few years, I have provided flexible seating in my classroom. It has been my goal all along to give students more of a voice and choice.
Now, I am altering my view even further.
I not only want to give students choice in seating, but I want for them to feel at home. Next year, I hope to have a classroom with a "cafe" and "home" feel. Google employees get to have such awesome environments to work in, so why not my own students? In the works are stools, cafe height tables, floor level seats, benches, comfortable cafe-style chairs, and- this couch! The couch is a difficult expense for me to fund alone, but it would really make our space so comfortable. I recently purchased a futon, but it is not great in quality since it was a WalMart purchase for the sake of saving. Hopefully, our prayers for a new couch will be answered, and my students can feel at home in our learning environment. This would just make our space so much better!
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