Showing posts from January, 2014

My Dream Classroom Design

Lately I can't help but look up interesting and innovative classroom designs.  I find myself wanting to step away from the front of the classroom more and more.  The problem is that my traditional chairs-attached-to-desks classroom furniture holds me back a bit.
Desks can be moved around to form groups, but they are still the traditional institutional desks and give the classroom a certain sterile feel.
Also, the fact that there is only one big screen at the front of the room makes the teacher the de facto center of the universe.

Teaching and Learning Goals I have a teaching and learning vision, but I'm not a designer.  I would definitely need help to get started.  Some of my priorities are:
students should be comfortable students should be able to work collaborativelystudents should be able to share their thinking and work with a larger audience without having to crowd around one iPad/laptop screenstudents and teacher should be able to maneuver around the room relatively easil…

My Semester UNexam

How am I supposed to keep calm when I haven't given one single test yet this year? I'm required to give a semester exam.  What would an exam look like for a class in which students have not been tested?
I have not required my students to memorize anything, but I have required them to research everything.
I have not required my students to answer multiple choice questions with clear right or wrong answers, but I have required them to justify their varying opinions.
How the heck would I create a semester exam that fit the standard I've set?
I wasn't the only one with these questions racing around in my head.  Parents posed these questions to me throughout December parent conferences.  At least 6 or 7 different students raised their hands and asked about the exam in the weeks before winter break.  My answer was, "I have a few ideas but I haven't finalized anything.  I'll let you know with plenty of time to prepare."
After much reflection and a little cr…