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Classroom design

August 22, 2010

How should a classroom be designed?   As I set my classroom up this week, I had this thought going through my mind.  I decided to put my desks into groups of fives.  I did this because my students will collaborate everyday, and I want them to get acclimated with their classmates as quickly as possible.  I also set up my bulletin boards and put up posters.  Basically, I did all the typical classroom decorating.  Why would I set up a classroom without the students there to help with the design?

Last year, I taught for three straight days without any desks in my room.  I loved it!  I found that the students really enjoyed not being constrained.  I actually thought about not using desks this year.  The students could keep their materials in their cubby and the classroom would mostly be an open learning space with a few desks and chairs.  Why am I making the decisions about the classroom?  Shouldn’t I be asking the learners how the classroom should be set up?

Maybe a classroom should be designed to accommodate the learner and not the teacher!

Have you ever asked your students what they thought the class should look like?  How do you think your students would view the classroom differently than you?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2010 1:21 am

    I like letting the kids be a part of the process! What if you put all the desks (including yours!) in the corner and that be your first collaborative activity? The kids not only decide where THEIR desks go, but also yours. Then perhaps have a discussion about classroom management and the groundwork of procedures/protocols for interacting. I LOVE THIS!

    -Mike

    PS. I read a book you might find interesting on this topic called “Feng Shui for the Classroom.” Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but it was actually pretty informational, and very brain based! Good luck, and let your readers know what you did!

    • August 22, 2010 1:27 am

      That is a great idea. That would be a great first activity with the kids and it would lead right into a discussion on procedures. Thanks for the book idea too.

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