Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Flexible Room Environment

When I think about teaching, I think the room, the learning environment, plays a key role. The room should have materials that are engaging and will encourage children to explore and experiment. And the room must be a neutral space, ready to accept whatever ingenuity grows from the learners' minds.

The room must be a flexible environment, ready with engaging ideas and ready to be a part of a completely different engaging idea.

And in this flexible space, the children repurpose materials to create their own ideas. In this flexible room, blocks become letters and words and sentences.

Spelling with Blocks (Brick by Brick)

Spelling with Blocks (Brick by Brick)

Or the blocks center becomes a place to write your name.

Spelling Name with Blocks (Brick by Brick)

Containers become building materials

Basket in block structure (Brick by Brick)

Headbands (strips of cloth) become doll clothes

Swaddling clothes on doll (Brick by Brick)

Food become bricks in a pyramid tower

Food tower (Brick by Brick)

Masking tape becomes a hat

Masking Tape balanced (Brick by Brick)

A block bin becomes a hat

Container head (Brick by Brick)

Tables and chairs become a tunnel

Masking tape roads under table (Brick by Brick)

Tile becomes a lake

Boat on tile "lake" (Brick by Brick)

Green Lego bricks become landscaping

Lego bricks landscape (Brick by Brick)

And gems become pizza toppings

Play dough and gems pizza (Brick by Brick)

Kids have great imaginations and great ideas. They can take just about anything and reimagine it into something completely different. 

But there's one barrier to this - ADULTS. We can dampen those ideas with a just a few words. Or a mindset. (Well, maybe it's not you. Maybe it's me.)

Often we say "no" when we could say "yes." Or at least "Hmm. Let's think about that."

As you work with a group of children or survey a classroom, think about ways you can say yes. Yes to creativity. Yes to fun ideas. Yes to repurposing. Yes to a flexible classroom.

I learn some of the best ideas that way!

Blocks from floor to windowsill (Brick by Brick)

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