Dream Classroom

In my fifth grade classroom we had a Super Nintendo in the back of the classroom to be used at lunch (or on certain days when you finished your assignments early). At that point I started becoming aware of what I’d like to have in my classroom. My ten year old self would have liked a moat (and accompanying waterslide for easy access to the outside) but the more and more I think about it, as I’m on the path to becoming a teacher, there’s so much more than fun and games.

 

I love writing, and my setup at home (sort of in transition right now, as I don’t have space for a desk anymore) has to be conducive to writing. I like having my window open and the blinds drawn so I can ponder off into the streets and nature at the same time (sky and trees). I like playing classical music (sometimes movie scores to get me in certain moods, my favorite is from Last of the Mohicans) that can really get my fingers moving. I’m listening to it as I write this – I have been out of writing for it seems like weeks, and now I need to ramp it up. If I have the right feel, the creative juices can flow. I spoke with my cousin who is in the Masters program of Information Technology at UW and he had worked on a project on environments (or settings) for creative outlets. Everyone had different environments. Some wanted to be in a busy coffee shop, others in tranquil nature. Some had desks complete with everything they’ll need. Some needed silence. Some needed music.

 

Thinking now, about my classroom of the future, my students will have different needs and wants, and most certainly different environments they will excel in. I know I work great with classical music blasting as get in the zone, but not everyone is me. I’d like a classroom where students can move about and choose where they want to work – depending on what they’re doing. If they need to work alone or in groups, there needs to be space for that. My ideal room will be asymmetrical. It will have the tools they need, the space they need. The windows will be open, but there will also be a corner for focus. Music could be playing quietly somewhere.

 

There could also be a Super Nintendo in the corner. It will be an artifact by then, but it may find some use.

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3 thoughts on “Dream Classroom

  1. maly3 says:

    Maybe you can have a whole corner of ancient technology that kids can explore, like cd players, dvds, and telephones that does nothing else other than make calls. Anyways, your reference to The Last of the Mohicans caught my eye. I love that soundtrack, its so laced with emotion. I was thinking about my dream classroom too, and of course music has to come up somewhere. Its so easy to assume that the music that moves you will move others too, but thats not the case. It makes me wonder if allowing them to listen to their ipods during independent work time would be a feasible idea. Or perhaps letting them choose the music every once in a while. Who knows? I can’t wait to get my own classroom to experiment with these ideas.

  2. I saw this article:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303395604577432341782110010.html

    and it argues that music can be effective, as long as it doesn’t contain lyrics, because the lyrics sort of overload our brains. Different genres, from rock to hip hop have great music without lyrics (Funkadelic – Maggot Brain or DJ Shadow – Entroducing off the top of my head). There’s something for everyone.

  3. I think I’d like to have a Super Nintendo in my classroom too! More affluent schools have Wii’s since the games get you moving but I like how you could use the Super Nintendo to teach about technology.

    Yesterday I read “Click Clack Moo Cows that Type” to a 4 and 3 year old. I didn’t realize until the end that the typewriter featured in the story was probably stranger to them than the cows who were typing on it.

    I’ll have a typewriter sitting next to my new Super Nintendo..

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