The #YourEduStory challenge for Week 9 is to design the ideal learning space.
I know what many contemporary educators want: tables for student collaboration. Others want a mix of large tables with a few desks for individual work.
I, however, approach this scenario with one key consideration: I have students work in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes, students work in groups. At others, with partners. I also have students work individually.
What is my solution to this? A crazy, new, cutting-edge idea.
Desks? Why desks?
I like desks because it allows me to configure and reconfigure at will. I can move them to the outer edges when we do Socratic Circles. I can put them with partners when I want groups of two working on Venn Diagrams. I can also put them in groups of four when it is time for Literature Circles. If some groups choose to sit in a pair of partners for a time, they may.
In other words, my classroom space is almost a living, breathing thing because it is constantly adapting to student needs. I therefore need the ability to adapt and change (in some cases, several times per day).
Sometimes, it’s not the materials we have, but how we use it.