Tuesday, August 30, 2016

5 Questions to Ask Yourself this Year


Co-Author of @spacethebook
Design Specialist and Science Teacher
Gulliver Schools
Miami, Florida

What is the purpose of your space?

Before you dig into your space and start moving things around or make a purchase list, ask yourself and your students what you want to have happen in the space. What does great learning look like? How can you foster a space that supports that? Once you have a clear idea of the purpose, then you can focus on which "stuff" you will need to make that happen.

What stuff is in your space (and has always been there) that does not really enhance learning?

Is there a poster that you may have placed to cover a bare wall, or a shelf filled with out-dated teaching materials, or a table you might someday need (but do not actually use)? If something fits this description, try removing it. Just for a few weeks. Do you miss it? Bring it back. But you probably will appreciate your newfound space instead.

How are you fostering intra-class collaboration through writable surfaces in your classroom?

Which insights can you gain through asynchronous communication? What does that even mean? Simply, how can first hour's insights and learning contribute to 5th hours? How can morning work of one group enhance the ideas of another? Try capturing this work on writable surfaces and allow others to comment and spring-board off of their ideas. This intra-class collaboration can bring new life to learning and help create a collaborative learning community.

Which senses are affected in 5 different places in your classroom?

Stand in the back and close your eyes, what do you hear ... is there a loud road, air conditioner or ticking clock? What about in the center of your space? What do you see? Is it hard to focus because there is so many posters and information on the walls? Try this sensory exercise around your space. Gain empathy for what your learners are experiencing.

How many choices are you giving students in how and where they work?

The one desk per student is a one-size-fits-all approach. Does one type of working and learning space serve you? Think about your home, is there only one space you sit? Or one space you are able to work? If our learning spaces provide choices then students can move where they are most productive. if we give them space and choice, they will learn when it is time to change, all for the sake of better learning.

Meet the Co-Author!
Twitter: @ideaguy42

Buy The Space: A Guide for Educators Today! Chat with Rebecca and Bob every Tuesday in September at 4pm Pacific on the #edtechbooks hashtag on Twitter!

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