Elementary Learning Space, Kathryn Wiant

This learning space is designed for an upper elementary class. It is designed for maximum flexibility not only in furniture arrangement but in facility use. It features a variety of different learning areas within the space. Whole group learning, presentations, demonstrations or performances are done in the recessed "pit" area. There is space for individual, large and small group work. The learning areas are at different heights to create spacial division without actually having walls. There is also an administrative center in the middle of the classroom to allow visual supervision of each area (if the teacher is ever sitting there during the school day). The administration area is also accessible and available to students. Flexible height tables and chairs make it ADA compliant as well.

In order to facilitate and inspire student learning (ISTE standard 1), a recessed area with comfortable seating is constructed for whole class presentation, meetings or performances. It includes a data projector, a document camera, audio equipment and a Smartboard. The benches have low backs and flip up writing surfaces that can slip away when not in use.

Science exploration (ISTE standard 2b, development technology enriched environments that encourage students to pursue their individual curiosities) is encouraged by designated space, ample storage, computers, scales, microscopes, aquarium and terrarium space, etc., and safety equipment. Adjacent to the science space is a space designated for art exploration. The tables and stools for each may be combined and rearranged as needed. All tables, stools, and chairs have lockable casters for maximum flexibility. There is also a cleanup station for the science and art area.

Storage is dispersed throughout the room to allow for storage in the place of first use and to eliminate traffic congestion. There is natural light from two sides of the room in addition to a bay window. The windows have dual pull down or pull up shades to provide maximum flexibility. Lighting for each area is on a separate circuit so that it adequate, flexible and energy saving. Plants and other living things can be nurtured and displayed. The entire space is wireless. There is a color printer in addition to six computers and a classroom set of iPads. There is also a toilet and drinking fountain to reduce hall time.

The teacher can move throughout the space providing coaching and guidance to student projects. Students are free to use the space that works best for their learning style and project needs. It is designed to be flexible and comfortable incorporating calming colors, hard and soft surfaces, natural and man-made elements. The wood floor is easy to move the furniture on, is warm, and easy to keep clean. The pit area would be carpeted as well as the large group area in the bay window.
external image L.png