A recent Edutopia article "How to Make your Classroom a Thinking Space" reminded me of the importance of classroom environment as one of the cornerstones* of my Dynamic Classroom model which is the essence of Math 2.0.
"Take a moment and imagine a creative work environment. Don't worry about the kind of work going on. Just focus on the space. Close your eyes and picture it. What is that space like? What does it sound like? How are people interacting? Is there movement? Is there evidence of work in progress? Is it tidy, or busy-messy? Can you imagine working there?"To make your classroom work for you the authors suggest the following:
- Fine-tune the physical environment for PBL (Project Based Learning)
- Make a place for independent, partner and small-group work.
- Reimagine who the stuff belongs to.
- Make for a conversational classroom.
- Student presentations should be the norm.
- Encourage hands-on, minds-on creative thinking by providing tools for tinkering.
- Skype with other schools on collaborative projects.
- Create a video booth to capture student reflections.
In closing the authors write:
*The others are curriculum, resources, teaching, learning and assessing. See my blog entries for more about math 2.0 and the dynamic math classroom:
"What's on Your Wish List?Teachers model creative thinking when they find workarounds or inexpensive fixes to make their classrooms more conducive to project work. They also model collaboration if they enlist parent volunteers and other community members to help. Put your creativity to work by imagining how you might improve your classroom environment to invite good thinking. What belongs on your PBL wish list? How might you make it happen?"
- In Search of Math 2.0
- The Dynamic Math Classroom 1.0 (version 2.0 in press)