In my district, we use the Danielson rubric for effective teaching. One of the most important facets of the rubric, is the classroom environment.
Let’s take a look at how great teachers maximize classroom environment.
Effective teachers organize their classrooms so that all students can learn. This can be everything from how chairs and desks are arranged to what types of furniture are being used. I love seeing classes with flexible seating or other options for students.
Last year we had a classroom with a blow-up swimming pool in it. This was a favorite place for students to lounge and read or write. Students often sat in the “pool” for discussion groups as well. One of the other exciting seating options was the use of “pub height” tables and stools or chairs made from exercise balls. Keep in mind that students need flexibility and options. So do teachers. Not every student learns the same way and some prefer to be lounged out comfortably rather than sitting erect at an uncomfortable desk.
Giving students choice is a sure fire way to liven up your classroom and maximize student engagement. Don’t forget to use a funding source like Go Fund Me to raise money for those comfy chairs that don’t seem to fit into your school budget.
Remember that flexibility and options work for ALL learners. Wouldn’t you be happier if you had a choice while learning?