I love getting creative in my classroom and developing a learning space where students feel welcome and inspired. I always have lots of bright colours and lots of student work on display. It is, after all, their learning space, and I’d like them to have ownership of it.
My experiences in Early Childhood settings have encouraged me to design a learning space that has lots of smaller spaces or ‘nooks’ where learning can happen. I worked with two amazing EC teachers who blog over at Inspired EC, and have an incredible learning space. @neilfara has been one of my inspirations. His work with secondary students creating working learning spaces where students want to be is just amazing. I’ve also been doing some reading on learning spaces, inspired by @EduSum. Today I read about this amazing Swedish classroom. It would be a dream to teach and learn in. Unfortunately, I don’t have an endless budget to create my learning space.
In the classroom, I like to have an investigation table with something intriguing on it, usually based on the interests of the students and for independent discovery. I also like to create a comfy reading corner with lots of cushions. There’s nothing better than curling up on a cushion with a good book. The classroom always evolves as the students grow and change throughout the year.
Moving schools this year has been a great opportunity for me to clear out some of the resources I am no longer using and get rid of a lot of junk. I moved from a classroom with a massive storage cupboard to one with very little storage space, so a clean out was a must! In my new classroom I faced an even bigger challenge in that none of my storage shelves were movable. All of the shelves and cupboards are fixed to the walls, making it really difficult for me to make the space my own.
I’m not a fan of clutter in classrooms. I like things to be put away in their place, preferably where they can’t be seen. For this reason, I have had to invest in some sparkly fabrics to cover the shelving. There is still a place for everything, but the clutter is hidden.
I’ve had to be quite creative with the furniture in the room. I’ve managed to make a small reading area with lots of comfy cushions and a shelf with photo frames. These will eventually have photos of the students, or photos they have taken.
I am very lucky to have the connected classroom equipment in my learning space. My students will be able to connect with peers throughout the NSW DEC network. Such opportunities will continue to broaden their learning experiences and their understanding of their global presence.
You’ll notice in this photo that my desk is tucked away in the corner behind the mobile whiteboard. I very rarely sit at my desk during the day, so it’s not important for the room to be visible from it.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the children work in this space, whether they fit comfortably, or whether we need to make changes.
What does your learning space look like? How do you organise it to work with your students?