My lab is a moderately sized classroom that requires a creative use of space. The lab tables are heavy and require two people to lift each table. With the amount of materials I need to keep in my room and the space I need for the tables, it’s hard to redesign the learning space physically.
I want to free up the classroom space and reduce clutter. As you can see in the pictures below, workspaces don’t provide much room to spread out on the table or between tables.
Since we don’t have desks, students keep most of their belongings in their lockers or on the shelves at each table. The shelves are supposed to hold their binders, but also have their textbooks on the shelves.
Ultimately, I hope that an increase of workspace will help students stretch their creative muscles. I often utilize the hallway outside the classroom for extra workspace, but I do not want to decrease collaboration. In how I re-imagine my room, I see larger work areas and more space to move around between groups (for myself and peers). I want to have a work nook where students have the option to work on the floor in the science library. Hopefully this will increase the use of the informational text in my classroom and provide options for learners who do not like to sit or stand.
In order to restructure my classroom, I’ll need assistance from at least one other person to move tables. My SketchUp drawing would probably only take about a few hours to complete rearranging the furniture and another 3-4 hours to organize supplies. I would like to purchase organizers for art supplies and paper storage. In addition, I would need to purchase bean bags for the work nook and a rug for comfort. A Periodic Table rug would cost ~$90 and a set of four bean bags would cost ~$25.99 each.
Students often see the SmartBoard as the “front” of the room. Research we read about suggests that the learning environment should be student centered. My desk is at the “front” of the room and even though I’m not there much, I usually start my day there and it can affect the mood of the day. I want the new room to have work areas available to students including the white boards and Smart Board. There will also be increased floor space for student who want to stretch out.
I moved the technology table closer to the SmartBoard and research nook for easier access. Shelving fits under the white board and Smart Board and is out of the way.