Starting this year has really been playing on my mind... I have had 20 new beginnings with classes. Some of them have been in a job share role, some have been on my own. All have been with children from year 4-8. It always amazes me how nervous I become at the start of every year.
I have never been able to pick up last year's planner and go with it and I think that's what keeps me in "the game" and truly loving what I do.
Last year my personal inquiry was based around learning spaces and the "pit of learning". The Key Competencies and learning styles research I had undertaken helped me to develop with the children a dialogue about how we learn and "Managing Ourselves" while learning. I managed to present the pit of learning to the class by using the same key competency talk with the children and the metaphor of learning to ride a bike.
The outcome of this inquiry was massive!
We developed learning spaces, no fixed seating, adjusted timetables and totally refined how we use our classroom time. The children were an active part in this journey and by term 4, the physical classroom changes were impacting on programme delivery in a positive way.
This year has had me more on edge than usual, though.I do not want to take a step backwards. I do not want to ask my caretaker for my 20 desks back. I do not want to start the year with fixed seating or a "front of the room"...
So my dilemma is how to begin a year with the culture I want to continue....
21 of the 30 children in my class will come from a culture of desks and personal spaces. 9 have worked with me before albeit only a term in one case.
So, my aha moment happened tonight when I found the video below featuring Ewan McIntosh's and Tom Barrett's work with some Australian educators...
Design Thinking Brisbane from Danielle Carter on Vimeo.
So, Room 9 will not access the classroom before school on Day 1. Instead, we will meet in the atrium and explore our learning styles and ideas about how we learn... I am not sure yet what the questions will be but I will use these four aspects of thinking to help us begin our school year...
Watch this space! :)