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Sunday, May 1

  1. page Wiant learning space edited Elementary Learning Space, Kathryn Wiant This learning space is designed for an upper elementary …
    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.

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    8:39 pm

Tuesday, April 26

  1. page Classroom design Vision Statement edited Kathryn Wiant 4/25/2011 Learning Space Vision Statement An ideal learning space should be a …
    Kathryn Wiant
    Learning Space
    Vision Statement
    An ideal learning space should be a pleasure to be in and stimulating to the mind. It should be a flexible, multi-use space that fosters a community of learners actively engaged in purposeful work. It is a safe and secure environment that encourages and supports creative thinking, citizenship and communication within and beyond the physical classroom.
    We are all affected by the spaces we occupy. Space not only affects our mood and sense of psychological wellbeing but our ability to work, be creative, think, relax or even eat. Specifically, a learning environment needs to take into account the desired behavior of the students, the desired psychological effect of the space, safety, efficiency, and how conducive the space is for learning. The fact that learning is multi-faceted makes designing the optimal space a challenge. Couple that with the requirements needed for the integration of technology into a space and you have a challenge.
    Any educational space must balance four basic requirements: psychological needs, physical needs both of bodies and materials, educational/curricular needs, and technological needs.
    There is a huge body of evidence as well as personal experience that supports the importance of an aesthetically pleasing environment to personal wellbeing. The ideal environment would have pleasing, balanced colors that help create quiet spaces as well as more stimulating spaces. It would also provide a variety of seating and work station options including hard and soft seating, tables, desks, adjustable chairs and tables. The goal is to find harmony in the colors and materials used to create an attractive, safe and secure environment.
    The space must also address the physical needs of students. The key principles that must be addressed are accessibility and safety. People come in different sizes and that is rarely more obvious than at ages 6-12. In order to accommodate their size differences and ergonomically correct use of technology, it is necessary to have easily adjustable and moveable chairs, tables and desks. The space must be accessible to everyone. Lighting should be both natural and indirect artificial light to reduce eyestrain. The best space would also have sinks for personal, sanitary use, and sinks for clean-up. Ideally bathrooms would be connected to the learning space. Adequate storage would be provided not only for resources and supplies but also for products and student work. For example, it would have large flat drawers in addition to cupboard, bin and file space. Art supplies would be easily accessible in moveable taborets. Ample display space should be available and accessible to the students.
    It is important to note that students don’t learn best in a vacuum or isolation especially in our current environment (if they ever did). The ideal learning environment would foster creativity, critical thinking, skill acquisition, literacy, problem solving and acquiring a broad and deep knowledge base. In terms of an elementary school classroom, the ideal space would be a flexible environment that supports group and individual work, has adequate storage for a wide range of materials (books, other media and supplies) and allows for displays of natural phenomena such as aquariums, terrariums, and artifacts.
    Present day classrooms must have complete wireless capability to support a variety of technology tools that should be available for student use such as laptop computers, iPads and iPods, cameras and video recording (Flip cameras) and playing devices, presentation tools such as data projectors, Smart boards, document cameras and even overhead projectors. In order for them to be creative and critical thinkers they need to be able to connect with the outside world seamlessly and be able to share their learning through multi-media. Tehnology like SmartBoards and data projectors would allow students to save and share learning not only with classmates but also in their homes and with the world outside their community. Access to the Internet allows them to break down the barriers of space and time to experience a rich curriculum beyond their classroom walls and outside the school day. The use of technology allows for self-differentiated content, process and product.
    A well planned space can and should make learning as natural as breathing.

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    10:16 am