As our school moves towards re-designing our learning spaces, the classroom enhancement committee met with representatives from Grade 3 to 5 to hear the student voice. Each class was asked to send two students that had different learning needs and that could advocate for their ideas. The meeting was a huge success.
As students entered the conference room they moved towards the wall where teachers had assembled a series of photographs that represented various classroom spaces and furnishings. Students then added comments to images using post it notes. The results were fascinating and stimulated some great conversation between students in different grade levels.
We then facilitated a round table discussion, hearing from students about what they liked best about their current learning spaces, what they didn’t like and how the spaces could be enhanced. The dialogue was extremely enriching and included some ideas the classroom enhancement committee hadn’t considered.
Student ideas included:
What we like in existing classrooms
- Big work table and stool
- Big carpet
- Couches and a table – open to room
- Desks joined together/wide
- Trays under desks for storage
- Whiteboard table
- Bookshelf with carpet space either side of it
- Swivel chairs with wheels and adjustable height
- Stand up station near windows to write on windows with ledge wide enough to hold a laptop
- Ideas to improve spaces
- Colored walls to make it happier – we like green
- Whiteboard tables
- Swivel chairs (no swinging)
- Loft for quiet space and less distraction (enough for soft spaces)
- Power boards on desks to charge computer while working
- Bigger areas for personal belongings
- Entire display board covering a wall
- Plants to make it feel more like outside
- Prototype table (supplies table x 2)
- Lighting too harsh – dimmers
- Windows – more natural light
- Color scheme
The final step is for the class reps to return to their classes and discuss what happened at the meeting. This will be followed up with a survey that will be sent out to all grade threes, fours and fives. Exciting times in the WAB ES!