Our teachers were so inspired in August by the innovative classroom redesign project that Bridge Point Elementary was piloting, that they dove right in with changes for their classrooms.
The underlying theory behind the redesign struck a chord with them immediately: let children move, sit, stand and be the way they need to be in order to learn more successfully. These important concepts are explained in detail by Dr. Dieter Breithecker in his book The Third Teacher.
Our district was fortunate to be able to hear Dr. Breithecker in person last week, which further inspired many more teachers, school board members, parents and administrators to consider rethinking how we structure our learning environments. Click here to view his presentation slides. Be sure to visit the Bobcat Blog for a great overview of his presentation and more about the 2 pilot classrooms there.
Our Valley View Second Grade teachers wanted to create more kid- friendly learning environments right at the start of the year.
So they eyed their classroom furniture from a new point of view and made some changes that fit into their budget and timeline.
They asked the custodians to lower one of their group tables, in each classroom, and purchased gel cushions for the floor and chairs.
They posted "Apples for the Teacher" (apples with suggested items that parents can donate to the classroom) with Wobble Chairs on them. These are similar to the Hokki Stools but a bit less expensive, and are easy to find on Amazon.
As the students became comfortable with making choices about their physical learning environment, teachers noticed that many of them liked to stand.
To their delight, Brooke Ehlinger, a third grade teacher, discovered that she could raise tables in her classroom to a standing height for students, just as easily as they could lower them for floor sitting.
I enjoyed hearing this validated by Dr. Breithecker, when he said that the most requested height for tables was standing height.
Check out the Slideshow below to see these ideas in action.
Hi, I'm Margie Brown, an Educational Technologist at Valley View Elementary School in Eanes ISD. I love working with students and teachers and discovering new digital tips and tricks everyday!
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