Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Block Classroom

We started the year with our own version of ‘The Block’ television show!  When the children arrived at school on the first day of Term One, they noticed signs saying 'The Block Classroom'. The furniture was stacked in the corners of the classrooms and the walls were empty. Our goal was to empower the children to be part of the decision making process as they created their learning spaces and established a culture of learning. This was to ensure the children felt a sense of ownership and belonging in their learning environment. The children completed application forms and watched 'Episode 1' of 'The Block Classroom'. Each class was then set the challenge of creating their learning space.

'The Block Classroom' was a huge success! It was the perfect motivation for the children to ‘build’ their own learning space and begin to establish a culture of learning. It allowed the children to have ownership of their learning community because they were empowered to make the decisions. They made decisions about which furniture to use and how to arrange it. In some classes the children decided not to have set desks or enough seats at desks/tables for every child. They created different zones, including quiet zones and spaces where could work uninterrupted. They decided what and where their learning displays should feature on the walls.  The children were involved in the organisation of resources and equipment.  The children named their learning spaces and designed class logos that reflected their learning community.

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