Classroom Changes

Speaking of classrooms, did you see anything about this experiment?

Known as Flip This Classroom, the project brings together district officials with a group of architects and interior designers to revamp a learning space literally from the windows to the walls in hopes of improving student achievement…New furniture will be brought in, walls repainted, lighting adjusted and the latest in teaching technology installed…This model takes into consideration how the elements of sound, light, temperature and design hinder or stimulate learning. Students are also surveyed to better understand their own personal learning preferences….In addition to changing the aesthetics of a room, Brannelly said one of the most common needs among students is being able to hear themselves and their teacher. In order to heighten this, a sound system is going to be built into the classroom, with a small microphone installed to amplify the voices of the teacher and students. Comfortable, student-friendly furniture also will be brought in and sliding wall panels used to make presentations will be installed.

Now we had our renovation, and when they did it, I know they used some of the same principles (task lighting over the “desk tables,” bright washers by the white board, etc.), but I chafe against the long rows of tables, and rarely use them in that arrangement (that’s right–I’m one of those people who moves the tables around; all you need is a good cordless drill and about 18 minutes and you could be, too!).

So, this is my excuse to ask what your favorite desk arrangement is? Mine is the U, though, I like the rows facing each other even better when I have few enough students to set up that way (been a few years now since I have). You?