Thursday, December 15, 2011

Learning Spaces, Styles and Apps

It is time to reflect on what has been an absolutely thought provoking year and professionally challenging to boot!
  • After acting as AP for a year, this was my first official year as the real thing in leadership. I have noticed my conversations and perspectives have changed hugely this year. Needless to say, much of the conversation is around targeted programmes, National Standards and charters. 
  • Learning styles have always been a massive consideration in my planning and delivery but this year, I began to develop Learning Spaces with the children. Over a term, they developed the classroom spaces to meet their needs. There are less desks than students in the classroom, bean bags, tables, a campfire for meetings, fishing nets to create tent like spaces, and "caves" for children who like to learn in quiet spaces.
  • I explicitly unpacked the Key Competency "Managing Myself" using James Nottingham's idea of the learning pit. We likened this to learning to ride a bike and called it the wobbles. Best dialogue in this classroom was when kids would let each other or me know that they were wobbling and needed someone nearby! 
  • My class composed of 1/6 being transient students. Most of these came from Christchurch but my latest was a student from Tamaki School in Auckland. Her arrival raised for me the potential of student blogs for students on the move.
 While I have only identified four key components, it is fair to say that it is these that will have a direct impact on me as a teacher in the future.  My first question is how will I directly develop ownership of the the Learning Spaces in our classroom with the new group of children coming from classrooms with desks and set individual spaces? I am thinking I need to explicitly plan the use of these spaces into the early days of establishing our classroom. I would love to hear from other teachers who have done this previously. What routines are important? How do we meet the needs of the student (and parent) who need ownership of of a classroom space? What successes and failures have you had?

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