The subtitle of this should add: “And Allie does a little bit, too!”
After kiddos left on Monday and we had our chart of what they wanted in our new room layout, Riley and Allie and I got busy. And in case you’re new here and aren’t sure who I mean, let me show you my cutie-pie kiddos. Riley is in 4th grade this year and Allie is a new kindergartner at our school. It has been fun to have them join me at school, and is also great how often they help me in my teaching. They have such great ideas and different takes on things than me–I like to throw things at them and see what they think I should do. They are often the ones that help me come down off the ledge and keep me from doing things that are TOO crazy in Rm. 202. Thanks, kiddos. 🙂
And…this year Riley has become the superstar room planner of my dreams. 🙂 Because he has been in such a responsive and collaborative classroom this year, he’s learned a lot about how to really think through how your space works and how to fix things when they don’t work the way you wanted them to work.
So after reviewing the chart my class had made and thinking about how we could best use the furniture and room space available to us, we let the ideas fly. I love that I could hear what the conversations had been like in his room as he said things like “Let’s just try it and see what we think” or “What about this?” He had some great ideas for where each zone should go and gave conclusive support as to why they made sense. My favorite part was when he used our cubbies to create the hands-on zone on one side of the room, explaining that the height of the cubbies would create a nice sound barrier as kids worked there. It’s a place my cubbies have NEVER been and I had NEVER thought of putting them there. The block box fits PERFECTLY into the corner of it and there’s plenty of floor space and table spaces for kids to work creatively and collaboratively without bothering each other. Genius!
He suggested the corner be where we put the reading zone (again–a place I have NEVER put the library in the 5 years I’ve been in this room), because it allowed us to have a white board to put charts, share ideas, and it created a cozy space. He wanted the shelves to face outward so we could put the soft pillows against them to provide a nice place to sit. AND we found a way to use 3 cubbies to stack tall enough for a lamp to light the area. It’s one of the only places in my room with an outlet, so again–genius move, Riley. 🙂
The rug is next to our ActivBoard now and is a nice, open space for our class to meet together, or for partners to work or even for kiddos to work alone with lots of space. I have lots of favorite parts, but the back corner near the sink is now officially called The Kitchen, and has our big ‘ole kitchen table to work at. I’ve always wanted a space like that in my classroom, to help bring home to school, and I think it’s going to be just what I’d hoped for.
While I wanted to have a tour and some pictures in this post, I think those make more sense in later parts of the story. In fact, my kiddos will be working on how to present how our room works as we begin this next week together. I want them to tell how it’s changed our lives and explain the best parts of the new layout. Stay tuned for that!
Also in the plans for next week is an invitation to Mrs. LeSeure’s class to come check out our space. Without them and their expertise, I don’t think our space would have been so well-imagined. You guys rock!