Sunday, January 10, 2016

Flexible Learning Environments - The Starbucks Classroom and more

Our district has achieved Apple Distinguish Program status (2012 - 2017). One of the categories for Apple Distinguish Program is flexible learning environments. As our one-to-one program has changed and grown, so have our flexible learning spaces. We knew that when we went 1:1 we would have to change our learning spaces (and lots of other things too). We got rid of desks and brought in tables. Many teachers got rid of their teacher’s desks too. Some even brought in alternative chairs like exercise balls, or stools. Many teachers also began to send students to hallways and landings for recording. These recordings were for students to demonstrate their thinking and understanding of the concepts that were being taught. Each school bought at least one green screen kit. Teachers also began buying them on their own or making them out of the materials that they had available. They're actually quite easy to make on your own. I've seen green screens made for as little as $10. 

We’ve even used Double Robot (as seen on Modern Family and Big Bang Theory) to help home bound students. The home bound student is able to drive the robot around their classroom. They are able to participate in small group, whole group and individual activities as if they were there. Our Superintendent Dr. Stan Fields has been talking about having our libraries look more like Starbucks for about three years now. He has been an advocate for alternate learning spaces. It's great when you have supportive administrators. We have admins who understand, you can't just keep doing the same things, and expect to get different results.


Before -South Side of the Room

Before - West Side of the Room

Before - North Side of the Room

Before - Southeast Corner of the Room

In November I observed +Virginia Burdett's classroom. As I observed in her room I realized that she is doing amazing things in her instruction, but that her students were hardly ever in their seats, at their tables, or even in the classroom. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. With the way that Ginny teaches and the way her students learn they don't need to be in their seats all the time. They needed an even more flexible learning space. 
Students reading in the Principal's Office
I met with Ginny and she agreed. We began planning and negotiating what the room might look like. We started with a Google Doc. We made different categories, like what to keep, what to get rid of, what to buy, what to make, and what to get donated. We scoured the web for pictures of flexible learning spaces, and made notes about what we liked, and didn't like about the spaces. We kicked that around for about two weeks. We thought it was important to keep some traditional seating in the classroom. We also agreed there should be some alternative seating. The biggest thing we agreed on was that 4-BU had way too much furniture for the number of students and square footage of the room. She had to 2 - 6 foot tables and 4 - 5 foot tables for 23 students (see pics above). One of the things that we had to make sure we remembered was that in the end there would be enough seating or a space for every child in the room, plus a few extra. We got some of our inspiration from this article by Kayla Delzer, Why the 21st Century Classroom May Remind You of Starbucks. Thanks Kayla for including pics and FAQs!


All the furniture we removed
Over winter break we worked to empty out the classroom and get it organized. There were 24 student chairs in the room we got rid of 16 and kept eight. The eight chairs are now at the two traditional tables.  There are four chairs at each table. We kept three of the 5 foot tables. We got rid of both of the 6 foot tables and one of the 5 foot tables. Eventually we hope to get rid of one more 5 foot table and add more alternative seating. We also brought in 1 circle table. We got rid of the teacher’s desk. Ginny was only using the teacher's desk for some storage and a place to put her teacher laptop while using the Apple TV, so she knew she wouldn’t miss it. In the front of the room where the teacher's desk was we replaced that with the circle table. I painted the circle table and two of the 5 foot tables with whiteboard paint. It is a very inexpensive alternative to purchasing regular white board tables. It cost about $50 to paint the three tables. I got the idea from this blog post and read more about the process on the Rustoleum website

Supplies for Creating Whiteboard Tables

Our fabulous custodian took part of the legs off of two of the 5 foot tables, so that they are about 18 inches off the ground. Ginny bought 10 pillows from Target. They were $10 each. She brought in an old futon and a small side table that she had at home. I found a floor lamp for free on a swap site on Facebook. She had two bungee chairs in her room already, and some small circle size carpets. She also had a black cube, that is an ottoman and also opens up for storage. We got rid of the students' seat pockets that were on the backs of the chairs. Ginny bought 3 -10 drawer carts from Sam's Club for students to store their belongings. They have a few folders, their iPads, a pencil case and headphones. We are still in need of curtains, three large carpets (for under the tables), clipboards, and a new seating arrangement that I don't want to say too much about. We want it to be a surprise. The curtains are being made and we will write a Donor's Choose proposal for the rest. 

After - Southeast Corner of the Room

After - Looking South Across the Room

After - West Side of the Room

Floorplanner.com 2D & 3D image for planning.

In the end I would say that we have three different types of seating. We have two traditional tables one circle, and one rectangle. They hold four children each or 8 children total. The circle table is a whiteboard table. We have two semi-traditional seating spaces. These are the 5 foot rectangle white board tables which are 18 inches from the floor. The students sit on pillows at these tables. There are five pillows at each table, for a total of 10 students. At this time we have two non-traditional seating arrangements. One of these spaces is the futon. The maximum capacity at the futon is three students. We also have the bungee chairs and cube. Up to three students may sit in this area, for a total of six more spots. This makes a total of 24 spots. We made signs for each seating area. The signs named the area and gave the maximum seating capacity. They will stay at the tables, as a reminder, till they get lost or torn up.





Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World written by my friends Jennifer Williams and Fran Siracusa suggests that students should be involved in the process. We didn't do this. Instead we chose to surprise Ginny’s students when they returned from winter break. Boy were they surprised! Ginny used this chart to work with them and introduce the new learning space. She did a fabulous job of setting the tone. Students spent the next three days rotating through the three different learning spaces (thanks Kayla). They had to stay in the same seat the entire day. Each day they were asked to reflect about their experience in a Schoology discussion. At the end of the three day trial students were allowed to sit anywhere.

This is a very good group of students and they have been very respectful and responsible about their choices of where to sit. Ginny has done a good job of teaching them respect and responsibility this year. The thoughtful way in which she rolled out the new seating also helped.



On the first day of open seating I had one boy who was sitting on the futon all by himself. He put the futon down into a bed. After a transition two girls joined him on the futon while it was still in the bed position. All three lay there and read their books. As I walked over he began to stand up, he told me that he now wanted it back in the couch position, but the girls did not want to have it that way. I politely told him that he had two choices he could continue using the futon in the bed position, or he could choose somewhere else to sit. I talked to another student for a minute or two and when I looked around I saw that he had chosen a new place to sit. This all happened without incident. If you give the students choice and responsibility they will rise to the occasion. They appreciate you treating them like adults.

When the administrators in the building came to see what we had done and how the students had reacted, they both said to me that they would love it if other teachers would do the same. I said to them that this does not fit every teacher's style.


This was a fun experience. It is still a work in progress. We have blasted out on Twitter pictures of what we have done. Watch for more on Twitter from @rmbtowner_tech and @MissBurdettHIA as we continue to add things and make changes.




I had another teacher in our district approach me already. She would like me to help her with her room redesign next school year. Her big request is a space for green screen recording. That is going to be a challenge that I can't wait take on. 





Thank you to Ginny for giving me an opportunity to do a project that expanded my horizons and pushed my limits. I have to give Ginny a lot of props for changing her room and her routine during the middle of the school year. This is not easy for any teacher, but Ginny embraced it and made it hers. She certainly has courage and determination! She did it because she knew it was what is best for her students!

One additional note, there were no 4-BU students working in the hall or in the Principal's office this week. Problem solved!

Stay tuned. I will write about the finishing touches for this project and give final out of pocket cost.

Thanks to Dr. Fields, Director Jordan Garrett, Principal Karen Marino, Assistant Principal Jodi Meyer, Kayla Delzer, Jennifer Williams, Fran Siracusa and Andi McNair for the inspiration and support. #bsd100, #LaunchMe15, #EdCampTB

11 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time for you personally to share such a nice info. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share.
    _____________________________
    Whiteboard Singapore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I had been rejected by my husband after five(5) years of marriage just because another woman had cast a spell on him and he left me with 2 kids to suffer. One day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how he help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a chance he told me that my husband is under spell, he said that he will help me and after 7 days that i will have my husband back. i believed he and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster has the power to bring lovers back now my husband is back with after 7 days . he also gave me a financial magic ring to boost my business and removed bad luck. i am now happy with my husband. Thanks you Dr. love please contact him at (lovespelldoctor0@gmail. com)

      Delete
    2. HOW I WAS CURE FROM HERPES WITHIN TWO WEEKS WITH THE HELP OF DR SAYO HERBAL MEDICINE. HIS EMAIL IS SAYOHERBALHEALER@GMAIL.COM

      I am so Happy to be writing this article in here, i am here to explore blogs forum about the wonderful and most safe cure for HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS . I was positive to the deadly Virus called HERPES and i lost hope completely because i was rejected even by my closet friends. i searched online to know and inquire about cure for HERPES and i saw testimony about Dr Sayo online on how he cured so many persons from Herpes Disease so i decided to contact the great herbalist because i know that nature has the power to heal everything. i contacted him to know how he can help me and he told me never to worry that he will help me with the natural herbs from God! after 2 days of contacting him, he told me that the cure has been ready and he sent it to me via UPS and it got to me after 5days! i used the medicine as he instructed me (MORNING and EVENING) and i was cured! its really like a dream but i'm so happy! that's the reason i decided to also add more comment of Him so that more people can be saved just like me! and if you need his help,contact his Email: sayoherbahealer@gmail.com check FB Page https://www.facebook.com/Sayo-Herbal-Healer-100145798345000/ check blog: https://sayoherbalhealer.blogspot.com/ check website; http://sayoherbalhealer.website2.me/      

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      Delete
  2. i want to testify about the great spell caster called Dr Azuka my husband and i have been married for 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you contact him via email: Dr.azukasolutionhome@gmail.com What’s app or call: +44 7520 636249‬



    ReplyDelete
  3. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I had been rejected by my husband after five(5) years of marriage just because another woman had cast a spell on him and he left me with 2 kids to suffer. One day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how he help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a chance he told me that my husband is under spell, he said that he will help me and after 7 days that i will have my husband back. i believed he and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster has the power to bring lovers back now my husband is back with after 7 days . he also gave me a financial magic ring to boost my business and removed bad luck. i am now happy with my husband. Thanks you Dr. love please contact him at (lovespelldoctor0@gmail. com)

    ReplyDelete
  4. HOW I WAS CURE FROM HERPES WITHIN TWO WEEKS WITH THE HELP OF DR SAYO HERBAL MEDICINE. HIS EMAIL IS SAYOHERBALHEALER@GMAIL.COM

    I am so Happy to be writing this article in here, i am here to explore blogs forum about the wonderful and most safe cure for HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS . I was positive to the deadly Virus called HERPES and i lost hope completely because i was rejected even by my closet friends. i searched online to know and inquire about cure for HERPES and i saw testimony about Dr Sayo online on how he cured so many persons from Herpes Disease so i decided to contact the great herbalist because i know that nature has the power to heal everything. i contacted him to know how he can help me and he told me never to worry that he will help me with the natural herbs from God! after 2 days of contacting him, he told me that the cure has been ready and he sent it to me via UPS and it got to me after 5days! i used the medicine as he instructed me (MORNING and EVENING) and i was cured! its really like a dream but i'm so happy! that's the reason i decided to also add more comment of Him so that more people can be saved just like me! and if you need his help,contact his Email: sayoherbahealer@gmail.com check FB Page https://www.facebook.com/Sayo-Herbal-Healer-100145798345000/ check blog: https://sayoherbalhealer.blogspot.com/ check website; http://sayoherbalhealer.website2.me/      

    He also have the herb to cure difference cure for any sickness
    (1) HERPES,
    (2) DIABETES,
    (3) HIV&AIDS,
    (4) URINARY TRACT INFECTION,
    (5) HEPATITIS B,
    (6) IMPOTENCE,
    (7) BARENESS/INFERTILITY
    (8) DIARRHEA
    (9) ASTHMA...

    kindly email DR SAYO for your own cure if you have any disease listed above via email: sayoherbalhealer@gmail.com    

    ReplyDelete
  5. I NEED AN URGENT 2020/2021 LOVE SPELL CASTER TO HELP BRING BACK EX HUSBAND AND RESTORE BROKEN MARRIAGE EMAIL DOCTOR0LOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM
    First of all i want to thank RUTH for the post she made on how DR Love0 helped her in bringing back her lover before NEW YEAR . At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted DR Love0 and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3mouths and i have been lonely and depressed without him, So i told him if he has helped anyone called RUTH and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before NEW YEAR, I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover, He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life, So i told him to come over which he did, As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady, Am so happy today and am also thanking RUTH for posting this early. DR Love0 you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world probles like WINNING LOTTERIES, GETTING OF JOB. BEAUTY SPELL CHILD BEARING. SPIRITUAL PROTECTION. JOB PROMOTION. BEAUTY SPELL HERBAL CARE money spell HIV spell. Friends you can contact DR Love0 on his private Email (doctor0lovespell@gmail.com) or check his blogs: https://doctorlovespell0.blogspot.com/  or check website:  https://doctor0lovespell.wixsite.com/lovespell or visit his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Love-Spell-Doctor0-107453264273672/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
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  7. MY TRUE LIFE STORY I WROTE, TO INSPIRE AND HELP OTHERS IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP.. THIS IS A TESTIMONY HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH A LOVE SPELL

    MY NAME IS "ISABELLA LUCAS" I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been fixed and restored.. My husband is back after he had left me and our 2 kids and moved to D.C with another woman.. When he left me and moved to be with the woman, I truly and really do love him with all I've got and been heartbroken, I have to deal with a lot of depression and needing medical attention having had two heart attack after he left me... Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really so hurt and i needed a lot of help anywhere I can find. Then i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested Dr okoso ( OKOSOTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM )can help me get my husband back with a love spell.. So I felt i give him a try. I contacted him and he gave me some spell instructions which I did,, then he did a (Love spell) on my husband. 48 hours later, my husband called me to apologize and that he's coming back home..OMG I couldn't believe, the spell was so fast and then when I got home from work,He was back, he promised he would love me till death and not part with me or the kids again...I want this testimony to inspire everyone around the world who need help in their relationship or marriage..Please contact him Dr okoso the spell caster~ OKOSOTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM
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  8. I have to say wholeheartedly I believe Oniha is a gifted individual and gentle in his second nature. I have received the most rewarding and spiritual experience whilst conversing with him on the telephone. I heard and saw an angel in my mind-eye it was so overwhelming. I knew at the moment finally my difficulties were over. He deserves recognition for his power and talents as a beautiful individual who brings spirit close to those in need. I have been touched deeply,nothing has come as close to me before. I am in total awe and have a great deal of respect. Thank you Dr Oniha for reuniting me with my estranged husband. Anyone who needs relationship help should contact this man and he will help you. 
    EMAIL: ONIHASPELLTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM
    WHATSAPP: +16692213962

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have to say wholeheartedly I believe Oniha is a gifted individual and gentle in his second nature. I have received the most rewarding and spiritual experience whilst conversing with him on the telephone. I heard and saw an angel in my mind-eye it was so overwhelming. I knew at the moment finally my difficulties were over. He deserves recognition for his power and talents as a beautiful individual who brings spirit close to those in need. I have been touched deeply,nothing has come as close to me before. I am in total awe and have a great deal of respect. Thank you Dr Oniha for reuniting me with my estranged husband. Anyone who needs relationship help should contact this man and he will help you. 
    EMAIL: ONIHASPELLTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM
    WHATSAPP: +16692213962

    ReplyDelete