A Tour of Room 209

Following up on a  “Future Ready Learning Spaces” conversation at EdCamp DuPage, I want to share a few photos of my classroom. I teach in an old building that is both quirky and classic. Our technology has been modernized over the years, but the design of the classrooms remains pretty traditional. 

When I transformed my classroom, I wanted to move from an industrial-era model teacher-centric classroom with desks in rows and students facing forward to a learning space that is student-centered, personalized, and technology friendly.   

 Welcome. Here is where I post the "I can" statement for the day. It is typically a short version that gives everyone an idea of what we are working on.  Today, I also have group assignments for our interdisciplinary project and the news paper clipping for the play we recently attended on a field trip. 

Welcome. Here is where I post the "I can" statement for the day. It is typically a short version that gives everyone an idea of what we are working on.  Today, I also have group assignments for our interdisciplinary project and the news paper clipping for the play we recently attended on a field trip. 

 While this is not the most organized area of the room - it is a spot that makes me smile. I have a number of students who keep  stuff in my room... a sports duffel that does not fit in the locker, a lunch bag for a student that plans to eat in my room, as well as coats and fleeces discarded after first hour.   This may look like a mess, but each of the kids who leaves their stuff on the chair is going to be back before the end of the day. I get to check in with them and they know that my room is a safe spot. 

While this is not the most organized area of the room - it is a spot that makes me smile. I have a number of students who keep  stuff in my room... a sports duffel that does not fit in the locker, a lunch bag for a student that plans to eat in my room, as well as coats and fleeces discarded after first hour. 

This may look like a mess, but each of the kids who leaves their stuff on the chair is going to be back before the end of the day. I get to check in with them and they know that my room is a safe spot. 

 This is my mindset board. I'm a huge fan of all things  Carol Dweck , and I love talking to to the students about how their metacognition plays into their learning. They quickly learn about the power of "Yet" as in "I'm just not the reader I want to be yet... but I will be!"

This is my mindset board. I'm a huge fan of all things Carol Dweck, and I love talking to to the students about how their metacognition plays into their learning. They quickly learn about the power of "Yet" as in "I'm just not the reader I want to be yet... but I will be!"

 When I asked to have all the desks taken out, the principal gave me a small budget, and I went to town creating a comfy coffee shop atmosphere where students can meet to talk about books, writing, and even bring in a brown bag lunch. 

When I asked to have all the desks taken out, the principal gave me a small budget, and I went to town creating a comfy coffee shop atmosphere where students can meet to talk about books, writing, and even bring in a brown bag lunch. 

 The other half of the room has a large carpet and as many books as I can pack on the shelves. Between our school library and the classroom libraries we want the students to find plenty of high interest books that they want to read. My dream is to fill this space with bean bag chairs, but for now we just use pillows for back rests.

The other half of the room has a large carpet and as many books as I can pack on the shelves. Between our school library and the classroom libraries we want the students to find plenty of high interest books that they want to read. My dream is to fill this space with bean bag chairs, but for now we just use pillows for back rests.

 The kidney shaped table is sized for secondary students. It's a great place to conference with students,  hold mini reading chats and even hold teacher meetings.

The kidney shaped table is sized for secondary students. It's a great place to conference with students,  hold mini reading chats and even hold teacher meetings.

What I like best about my room is that it is adaptable. We can change it up and move things around to create the space we need. With its flea market style it's neither modern nor progressive, but instead it's a space to hang out, have a snack, and talk about a good book or two.