The Environment

My video was rambly this week. I think it's because I have complete control over my environment, but there's just not much I can do with it. I have a really small classroom and some big classes, so it gets packed quickly.

It's easy to fall back into default "classroom mode" where desks are in rows for ease of movement, which is important. If you can't do what you need to do because the arrangement isn't working, (but hey, they're in groups!) you're environment still isn't flexible enough to push students into owning their learning.

I'm pretty open about where students sit. A year ago (nearly to the day...wow...) I wrote about seating charts and they're influence on the environment. I've resisted making new charts this semester because I'm shooting for the right balance in the room. This ties more in with the culture, but the physical environment is affected: who sits where, how does their interaction demand attention from the space, etc.

Being flexible with the environment starts the change. Being okay with (sometimes) big groups of kids helps send a message that learning is collaborative. Moving around your space (yes, it's okay to have a desk and a space of your own) so you work more effectively in the classroom space will also help make that transition. Since moving my desk, my interactions have improved, my rapport is better, I feel more aware, and students expect more interaction from me. All good things.

2 thoughts on “The Environment

  1. Ken Bauer says:

    Thanks for the reflection Brian, I’m really glad you are doing this. I actually think doing and cMOOC regardless of your knowledge of the “content” is a very good experience for any educator; plus it really is good to reflect on our practice despite having been doing this #flipclass thing for years.

    And that link to your seating chart post is interesting too, I remember reading that last year and it actually led to me digging out your post for this assignment. Nice comments on the seating chart post from Cheryl and Shai as well.

  2. Jennifer Dillon says:

    Good insight…I’ve been playing around with my room’s arrangement on kaplan.floorplanner.com (free) and will post a screen shot of it on my blog. I think the control is a concern especially with my incredibly immature freshmen. So much to consider. Thanks for sharing!

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