Are you getting ready to head back to your classroom and redesign, rearrange, and reorganize? As you dive into setting up your classroom I challenge you to think about one thing… your learners. Why do schools exist? Not for teachers… but rather to provide a individualized, high-quality education to each and every student.
So I challenge you to think about what environment will provide the best learning space for your students. I think it is so easy to focus on trivial things in the classroom- having the perfect theme, color scheme, accessories- but really how does that effect learning? Here are some tips for ensuring your creating the perfect learning environment for your students.
Let’s begin by thinking about our end goal….
We want to create learning environments for students that facilitate differentiated instruction and P21 skills.
You will want to have-
- students engage regularly with peers to think and discuss
- visuals (anchor charts) that are timely and rotate with new content
- students participate in the creation of the visuals
- desks or tables arranged in an adaptable, flexible arrangement
- student choice in process and product
- a wide variety of visuals/graphic organizers for students to choose from
- digital media available in order to differentiate for all students
- real world context in tasks and assignments
As you set up your classroom, think about your future learners.
It’s THEIR classroom!
As you choose furniture, arrangements, learning areas, etc., THINK…
How is this benefitting the students?
What is its’ purpose in teaching and learning?
If your answer is no and/or you can’t think of its’ purpose—
rethink your idea!
Here are some things you want to be sure you have in your room:
- cohesiveness (choose 2-3 colors to use throughout your room so that you have some uniformity and not overwhelming décor)
- small group instruction area
- space for centers/stations/rotations
- access to technology
- all student response materials (whiteboards, chalkboards, signal cards, etc.)
- accessible math manipulatives (cubes, rulers, hundreds chart, counters, calculators, etc.)
- accessible reading manipulatives (highlighters, Post-It Notes, graphic organizers, dictionaries, reading trackers, etc.)
- collaboration areas for students
- active bulletin boards that reflect instruction
What suggestions do you have for creating a learner centered environment?