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Room Arrangement

What do learning spaces look like when they are crafted to support personalized learning? Here are some questions to ponder:
    • Have you considered using furniture that moves easily and enables students to sit and work in small groups or collaborate together in unique ways?
    • Do your classrooms have appropriate ambient lighting for technology use? Is there a problem with glare?
    • Do you need to consider purchasing window blinds?
    • Do you have a location that's convenient to classrooms for cart storage (if you intend on using one)?

Watch this short Agile Learning Spaces video to see a truly flexible learning space.

YouTube Video



Think:

When Jackie Gerstein (
@jackiegerstein) was teaching sixth grade, she didn't bother decorating her classroom prior to the first day. Instead, students arrived to find blank bulletin boards and furniture piled in the middle of the room. Their first assignment "Roomination": Working in small teams, come up with a blueprint for how they'd like to see the room arranged. Teams presented their designs to the rest of the class and then voted on their favorite, which they put into action to set up the classroom.  It's a smart idea for many reasons. Students get to know one another right away by collaborating in small teams. They're active, not passive, from day one. And they discover that their ideas will matter in this classroom. (Find more good ideas for starting the year on Gerstein's blog.

Peter Skillen (@peterskillen) suggested naming the space where you and your students gather to learn. His classroom "brand" is The Construction Zone, which emphasizes the necessity of constructing your own learning and being in "the zone" to learn. He explains more on his blog

As an icebreaker activity with a powerful purpose, consider inviting your students to "brand" the classroom with a name that they select.


Discuss:

Take a look at the image gallery for ideas of how to arrange technology-rich classrooms to promote student choice from Baltimore County Public Schools and share with your teammates ideas you might be able to use to transform your learning space.



Act:
Create a plan to arrange or rearrange your learning space.  Consider using the Classroom Architect tool to help you do so.  And, be sure to include in the plan how students will be partners in these decisions.


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