Our hope had been for a redesigned space, more open plan with walls knocked down and furniture to facilitate new teaching and learning patterns. Unfortunately, engineers stated that none of our walls could go. They are all load bearing. Additionally, budgets did not extend to large furniture purchases so we have only a few new pieces, a round ottoman and 5 whiteboard teaching tables. It was depressing to come in late January and see the same rooms and all the same furniture, and yet, to know that we HAD to make a shift in our teaching. Same + same, usually = same. Therefore we needed to consciously force a difference. Many teachers were in the last week setting up their rooms. Gina and I had 5 classrooms to set up. Some suggested that we only set up two spaces and open the other rooms as new teachers join us. However, that would have meant teachers "seeing" spaces as their own. We did not want teacher ownership of spaces, but rather for students to access all spaces. To promote student autonomy in their decision making and to developing self-regulating behavior for their own learning. This meant setting up all classes.
A central space for developmental play, inquiry, and large group meetings, then a classroom each for Maths, Reading and Writing. Our final space is an Art Room. These rooms will be used to centralize resources in and to display progressions, however we will try to promote the concept that all learning can occur in any of the zones. My teaching partner and I just spent 3 hours putting finishing touches on the learning spaces. These five adjoining rooms. It was a mammoth task and we especially thank friends who helped out. The wall displays and progressions will be developed through the year with the students. I look forward to being able to post these and my reflections on how the learning spaces are being used.
Roll on 2015 Team Kiwi (Year 0/1) are all ready.