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Monday, February 20, 2017

Flexible Classrooms: Providing the Learning Environment That Kids Need

The purpose and method of transforming space is to support meaningful change in design, to the actual process of transformation in learning spaces.

Flexible classrooms give students a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them, and help them to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking.

@StPhilipCS the grade 2/3 class and the grade 8 class have transformed their classrooms. With the flexible seating available students are lying on the floor, sitting at low table on their knees, standing up, and are engaged.

All teachers who are contemplating to re-design their classroom are asked to sketch out their ideas and formulate a budget. Fitting a classroom is not that expensive and supporting them through school budgets is moving in the right direction. However, teachers need to keep in mind that if they are planning to keep their furniture when they move schools they need to pay it out of pocket.

They are many benefits to these Learning Environments. As more teachers adapt to the needs of the 21st Century Learner and transform their classrooms, more administrators will need to allocate funds to support this process.




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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Vikings Learning Research Space

Our Vikings Learning Research Space is unique, reflecting on the available resources and the needs of the students who use it. Converting the physical space of the library will empower students in using a wide variety of hands-on activities. This will develop a mindset that values voice, choice, playfulness, experimentation, collaboration and community. Diversity of activities is crucial to the design, making, and exploration process. By offering a broad range of equipment and materials such as Arts, Chess, Drama, Lego, Robotics, Textiles, and 3D Printing we would be meeting our students interests.

Having space that is functional is key in a school setting and is important for a range of ages. The new space is accessed by all 200 students from Grades K-8. In the beginning stages, the converted space will be used for extra-curricular to explore student common interest such as Art, Drama, Chess, and Robotics Clubs. Once we become comfortable in this setting, students will use the space during the school day in a scheduled class time with their teacher from year to year. Other opportunities may arise to maximize utility of the space after school or evenings and weekends. 

Itemized Budget Breakdown

The investing in building skills and knowledge has been a directive for our school. Through the direction or our 21 C team made up of students, staff, and parents, the school identified 3 short-term stages: 


Phase I - Physical Changes - October 2016 - February 2017 
Phase 2- Implementation/Monitoring - February- April 2017 
Phase 3-Review and Assess- May 2017 

Modules Items Cost Makeover Painting $500.00 Storage Shelving/Bins $2,000.00 Electronics Tools/Materials Robotics $3,200.00 Textiles Tools/Materials/Controllers $1,300.00 3D Printing $3,000.00 Totals $10,000.00 


Before

After

Friday, January 20, 2017

Professional Learning – How Much Is Done On Your Own?

According to Marc-AndrĂ© Lalande, “a Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references. Your PLN is not limited to online interactions, but it is that online, global interactive part that really makes it special. It is personal because you choose who’s part of that group; you choose if you want to lurk–just check out what people are saying–or if you share; because you choose when to do so, and how to do so.”
On Tuesday January 17 I was part of two 1 hour sessions that involved my PLN. First was a Local focused group discussing Wellness/Mental Health through #opcchat and the second was a Webinar Integrating Computational Thinking into the Math Classroom by Lisa Floyd.  Educators were able to interact, engage, reflect, share, and make personal connections. I was able to enhance my professional learning from the comforts of my home and expand on my digital portfolio. What I garnered from these sessions that evening I was able to share with my staff the next day and enabling them to move forward with their own. My choice, my time, my place!