Learning is messy. Learning is dynamic. But most of all, learning is mobile.
Over the summer, my teaching partner sent me a video of what looked like a class on wheels. The tables were mobile whiteboards that turned upward when the students needed a white-board display, but collapsed downward when students still needed a table of some sort to write upon.
It immediately transformed my vision of what a classroom truly should be, and now I can’t imagine it being any other way. And it makes perfect sense. Just as learning doesn’t have one language, learning also doesn’t have one form in which it can take place, and the classroom environment should be representative of that, too. It should be flexible, responsive, and dynamic, just as our lessons should be, so that all learning styles can be maximized at a moment’s notice.
So how did we try to achieve this? Well, we have whiteboard tables, which is awesome, and now we’ve trained the kids in the routine of rearranging the room for different purposes. Of course, we’ve coined some super cute names for each of the arrangements, too. We have the studio, the gallery, the study, conference room, and of course, the lecture hall.
Because sometimes you just have to get those little buggers to sit still.
We tried this for the first time last week, where kids closely studied the maps of our classrooms, left over from the initial stage of our design project, with tables strategically placed throughout the room. On the count of three, the kids began scurrying about the classroom, working well as a team, and rearranging the tables in under a minute. I suppose they liked the idea of rearranging the classroom, too.
Now, all I’ve got to do is get casters on those tables, and we’ll be good to go. More to come on this.