A lively and enthusiastic group gathered at The Doncaster Hotel in Kensington on Monday evening. Eight people turned up which I was really pleased with. The event was publicised via Twitter, G+ and email with many people responding very positively to the idea but were unfortunately unable to attend.
The group consisted of two secondary education advisers, an early childhood specialist, three primary class teachers, a full time uni student and a retired ex-teacher/intrepid traveller. Two people were unknown to me prior to this meeting!
The focus of the discussion was on learning spaces. Many aspects of this exciting topic were discussed. The Twitter feed shows some of the questions (but I didn’t feel comfortable tweeting too much as it was a very engaging face-to-face discussion).
Some of the topics discussed:
- Have you seen an awesome space you are inspired by?
- Campfires, Watering holes, caves, mountain tops and sandpits
- What comes first – the space or the pedagogy?
- What is one thing you would like to try in your learning space?
- Have you made a small change that has had a positive impact on the use of a space
- What is a trouble spot in your learning spot? – crowdsource fixing it.
- Do we need a chair and desk for every child? Do we need a “front of the room”?
Some of the ideas generated:
- Sheer curtaining to separate spaces
- kids tents
- whiteboards cut and adhered to backs of bookshelves which are then arranged to make small group spaces
- furniture on wheels for ease of movement
- get outside
- virtual spaces for mountain top sharing e.g. blogs
One of the teachers came with a request for help in setting up a shared breakout space adjacent to K,1 & 2 classrooms. Overwhelming response was to involve all teachers, as well as groups of children from the classes, in brainstorming ideas to be tried before spending big $$$ on mistakes. Reimagine old furniture, IKEA for cheaper options to use in the trial of space design. It was also suggested that finding other options for the storage of 90 backpacks was essential.
Some responses from the group: