Schoolroom Swag

Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Blues and Coral Decor

Here are some of the inspiration pieces for my next classroom d├ęcor pack. I've recently become a fan of navy. It's such a classic color, but I never really liked it. Isn't that a Jerry Seinfeld joke about navy? "What's the deal with navy? It's not black, it's not blue. It makes me uncomfortable." Can't you hear Jerry Seinfeld saying that?

Navy is for sure a classic color. If colors had ages, it would be 2,000.  But paired with newer, hipper colors, like teal, turquoise, gray and coral, (of course gray is an old color, too, but it's like Han Solo- it's totally cool and will never age) it takes on a whole new look. It seems to ground the rest of the colors. It brings maturity to the young pups.

So I've just STARTED working on my next year's design. It's barely even a passing thought, but I wanted to at least get something down on paper. On computer. You can get the first page of labels/word wall/name tags/calendar pieces/whatever you want them for at Teachers Pay Teachers. It's free and editable. You'll see there is no coral in it yet-that will come later. I used four different shades of blue because I think different tints of a color bring depth to a room. There is also texture in the color. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

Have a great FRIDAY!!!
Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Cave, A Campfire, and a Watering Hole

I just read about an interesting guy named David Thornburg. He seems to live in Brazil and the United States, from what I can tell.  He is a future-thinker and has some cool ideas. I like the way he thinks about new classroom spaces helping students to learn, and more importantly, to "think".  He has developed some easy to implement ideas in classroom design. He encourages classrooms to have these parts (as soon as you see them, you'll understand what he means):

Watering hole
Mountain Top

Here's what he means:
Watering hole: a place to come together to exchange ideas
Campfire: here is where we share stories, exchange ideas and allow the group to build on each others’ ideas.
Cave: a place to withdraw from the noise of the classroom to be alone with your thoughts and reflection. A place to explore questions and make connection
Mountain Top: where we celebrate and share learning ‘one to many’. You ‘sing it from the mountaintop’.
Sandpit: here you play, prototype, and experiment without worrying about mess, water or damaging surface

This analogy appealed to me because it's true in our personal lives, and should also be true in the classroom. We can achieve these places in our classrooms using what we already have. We don't need new and expensive furniture. We just need to put ourselves in the mind of our students. What spaces do they need each day? Can they go to a corner and cool off? Can they engage with each other to share learning? 

As I read more about classroom design, some of the ideas out there seem to me to be exactly that. "Out there." Maybe not bad, maybe even great, but also not exactly realistic. I try to remember these 3 key ingredients:

all things in moderation
balance, and
some is better than none.

That's why David's idea of the cave and the campfire appeal to me. It's easy for me to process, understand why it's desirable, and then implement. I can use what I already have.
A "cave" in the corner.
A "watering hole"
See that rug area in the front? Our "campfire."
Find these areas in your classroom. You probably already know where they are. If not, take 20 minutes. I bet you can move some desks just a little, and there they will be.
Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Learning Lounge

This is a very student-directed classroom. I love that table next to the loveseat. It looks really homey. But could you pull this off in your school? I think my principal would listen to me if I wanted to implement this. I think I'd have some explaining to do, though, as to the why it's necessary to completely get rid of my desks.  But for this teacher, great!

Her name is Elise Legaspi and she's from California. I think her room is very comfortable, and she has some great furniture! You can clearly see she's a student-directed teacher who wants students to be engaged. And that's what classroom design is all about! Engaging students and transforming not only the classroom, but the students!

Transforming your classroom will transform your teaching!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kids LOVE new school!


Check out this innovative school in Florida. What do you think?

I would love to try it for awhile and see how it works.  Or at least visit and learn from them. Would I be able to fit into that model? How do the kids learn and get along? What are test results? Do they test? Are there any traditional aspects? How does it work in the day to day?

I think it's really interesting, in regards to classroom design, and learning!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]