Last week I was working with my former team mates as they decided how to arrange their rooms to create more learning spaces. I was starting to get a little jealous as they were doing things I could notimagine attempting with first graders.
I decided to see what my students thought. After all, it's their classroom too! I told the kids
that we were going to rearrange the room and I needed their help. I asked
them to think of spaces where we already do our best learning and to think of spaces we need to do even better learning. I will admit that I was expecting answers like, "We need more time to play games on the computer" or "We need ____ because it would be fun." I regret having low expectations.
Here are some of the things the kids said:
"We need to keep our library because we do a lot of learning in there."
"We need more space in our library so we don't distract each other."
"All of our books should be in our library. We forget about the science and math books and we can learn a lot from non-fiction." (Those were housed in the opposite corner of the room)
"We need a bigger area for our group time. We don't have room to work when we are all on the floor together."
"We all need to be able to get to the teacher equally."
WOW! I couldn't believe how much thought they put into what they were saying. Nobody said they wanted anything just for the fun of it.
They mentioned technology.
They mentioned small group work.
They mentioned independent work.
We started moving things around on Friday. I spent most of the weekend finishing what
couldn't be done with 17 7 year olds and had it ready for them on Monday morning. I expected Monday to be CRAZY! They came in quite excited, but immediately began using the space as
they had planned. It is truly THEIR room now. It was fabulous!
Today we made a QR code tour of our room. I used Audacity to record each student explaining part of our room. I exported each recording as an mp3. I used www.upload-mp3.com to upload each recording as a url. I then attached each URL to a QR code using www.qrstuff.com.
Here are a few of the codes...
This is the entrance to our room and our first code of the tour. Use any QR code reader you've got to experience part of the tour!