Students design their own classroom
Aug 31, 2013 / 4:00 pm
School was never so interactive as this.
While most students will return to school greeted by a classroom carefully planned out by their teacher, Grade 6 and 7 students at First Lutheran Christian School will be handed the task of designing and shopping for their own classroom fittings.
With the launch of an innovative middle years program, emphasizing authentic, engaging, and passion-based learning, as well as community involvement; the need for a collaborative and innovative classroom set up became apparent. Classroom teacher, Jamie Henderson, began researching products and soon realized that the task at hand fit the very criteria that was meant for her students’ to meet in their learning. The task will become the first integrated project tackled by the group of students this year.
“I’m excited about all of it,” saidGrade 6 student, Hannah Sandager. “Shopping for cool furniture and getting to choose what’s in my classroom will be fun!”
The independent school recognizes the changing face of education and is confident that its students are acquiring what they need in order to dig deeper into exploring realistic and complex challenges and becoming passionate, independent learners. Having a teacher that facilitates her students’ becoming co-designers of their classroom experience is key to the success of the program.
“The goal is to have students own their learning through authentic tasks. It’s much more than a ‘fun’ project – students will be learning the competencies to address complex tasks as well as critical and creative thinking skills,” explained Henderson. “They will need to research, ask thoughtful questions of experts, evaluate their progress, and write a proposal summarizing their findings. It’s not all fun and games – but the students are engaged because it matters to them.”
Learning outcomes from the project include the arenas of financial planning and working with a budget, meeting with an expert to sample choices and ask questions, and collaborating as a group to confer about what best meets the needs of the classroom as a whole.
Possible choices for the multi-use 21st century classroom will be focused around height, ergonomics, and fluidity in configuration possibilities. The ability to move freely in flexible seating arrangements is important for the assortment of projects and movement of groupings the students will work on during the school year. Another key component is seating arrangements that puts the student at the centre (with an iPad, for example) and equipment that allows students to showcase their screen work to their peers.
First Lutheran Christian School serves students year-round from preschool to Grade 7 in an inclusive and invigorating learning community. Families of all backgrounds are welcome. The school is located in the heart of the Lower Mission at 4091 Lakeshore Rd. For inquiries about the middle years program or any of the FLCS seamless programming, please visit here
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