A Peek Inside the Classroom
Imagine this classroom: fluorescent lights turned off, string lights hung from the ceiling, muted color rainbow decor everywhere you look, and out of this world organization. Welcome to Ms. Andrew’s second grade classroom at Conant! “I wanted to create a space where the students felt comfortable, and there wasn't a hindrance to learning because of the environment,” stated Ms. Andrews. “Creating a space that was organized and allows students to have access to their materials was a main focus of my classroom set up.”
Ms. Andrews emphasizes choice, responsibility and organization with her students on a daily basis. At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Andrews established expectations of flexible seating by allowing students the opportunity to try each seating choice (yoga balls, wobble chairs, stools and traditional chairs). After every student experienced each seat, it was up to them to select the seat they preferred. “Every day in the morning when they come in, all seat choices are located in the back corner, and the students just pick whatever one that they want to use that day,” explained Ms. Andrews. While some students gravitate to the yoga balls, others choose the traditional chair and seat selections can vary day to day.
Along with flexible seating, another unique element in Ms. Andrew's classroom is that all student desks are turned around. “Last year I noticed the desks were not benefitting the students' needs, so I purchased cube storage and drawers for each table to help organize student supplies. Each table member then has a responsibility for each stored item like writing folders and the math books, etc.,” Ms. Andrews elaborated. “This promotes organization and responsibility especially when handling the property of others.”
Second grade students Annabelle Luebke and Violet Necci described their classroom as happy, comfortable and welcoming. This is felt in the ease of the morning routine, which includes seat choice, morning work, then choice time, selected by Ms. Andrews. Through the ambiance of the classroom, an exceptional and unique sense of community has been created.