Flexible Classrooms: Making Space for Personalized Learning
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Flexible Classrooms: Making Space for Personalized Learning

>>Chris Kelly: If you’re going to
work independently to catch up, you’ll actually turn the
tables toward that wall. If you’re going to collaborate,
you’re going to be at this table or you’re going to be at this table. All right, go.>>By differentiating in a space
that’s small or where you have a lot of students we are able to set
students up with the learning situations in which they can learn best.>>Penelope Pak McMillen: Here at Summit
we serve a wide range of students and so you’ll see a varying degree of
skill within an academic classroom. Providing flexible space
gives students the opportunity to learn in different ways. And it also gives the teacher the
opportunity to coach them properly in a personalized manner to
reach their learning goals.>>Chris Kelly: If you guys
want to work independently, what is going to be the best place
and the best people to be next to you to work independently? Those who want the mini-lesson
are going to come to this table.>>We provide a lot of flexibility
for learning environments, whether it’s flexibility in terms of
the physical space, flexibility in terms of the different choices
that students have. You see students seated
toward the back of the room. Those students are working
independently. The students who are at the
tables have chosen to collaborate, which is something they thought through
and made part of their goal-setting. And then you have the group of students
that chose one of the two mini-lessons and that takes place in the
center of the classroom.>>Student: Is it better to have
more body paragraphs or conclusion?>>Chris Kelly: Sometimes a student will
write a better thesis and the conclusion than they do at the opening,
because they’ve had a chance–>>Kayla: We wanted to collaborate,
because we’ve been helping each other on the steps that we had to do. And especially since they’re
so long we kinda thought, “Oh, let’s just work together.” Also, I think if we were to be at other
tables we’d probably be more distracted.>>Kayla: Like, each slide
has a different objective.>>Taylor: This is, like, summarize
each slide in your own words, I guess.>>Kayla: Yeah.>>Taylor: When the classroom’s flexible
we can learn a lot more from each other and it forms a better bond with
the students within the school and also the staff members.>>Penelope Pak McMillen: You may
walk by one room and see work time and the teacher floating around and
giving one-on-one support to kids. Or you might see the
teacher in the middle of a small group giving a
quick mini-lesson on something, then moving right on to
the next group of students. Or you might see kids in a circle
engaging in a Socratic seminar and having a dialog about an issue
that is tied to their class content.>>Student: How is e-waste to cycle?>>Student: You buy something and then
companies start making more products.>>Cady Ching: Today in biology I
grouped them together in the middle of the classroom so that
they could have a space that was conducive to a discussion.>>Student: Is e-waste
preventing our choice or our duty?>>Student: I think it’s our choice,
because nobody really tells us to do it.>>Student: I agree with you. I feel like it’s our choice right now, but it should be our duty
’cause it’s important to make the world a safer place.>>Cady Ching: Other students are in
the process of gathering information for the experimental design project. So, they were seen in the
outside, facing outwards so that I could see their
screens and help them work through any distractions
they might have. It’s hard sometimes to stay
focused, especially as freshmen.>>All right, go ahead and move.>>If they’ve mastered that or if they
are ready to move on to the next thing, then our classrooms, you know,
support that transition by being able to very quickly move desks and
chairs into different groupings for the next part of the class period.>>You guys move quickly and safely.>>Penelope Pak McMillen: It is important
to have furniture that allows me to create different types of learning
environments for the students. And, so, we have tables that have wheels
on them, so it’s easy to transition into a different configuration. It doesn’t disrupt the
learning too much.>>Aukeem Ballard: Buenos días.>>Students: Buenos días.>>Aukeem Ballard: Everybody can talk
about what this quote means to you and what your response is to the quote.>>Student: You can’t control
your circumstances always.>>Aukeem Ballard: I will have
a whole-class discussion. It’s called a whip-around and
we’ll go around the entire circle and have people share-out that way. It just is a way so that
we hear more voices and make sure there’s a
diversity of thought in the room.>>Janet: Some of us are
minorities and, like, we have experienced certain
things that are–>>When we’re sitting in a circle
and everyone can look at each other and be aware of each other I feel
like it makes you learn a lot better. Like, you grasp concepts
more once you see a face.>>Penelope Pak McMillen: What’s really
exciting about the flexible space is that it allows kids to really understand
what type of learning works for them and it equips the teacher with ways that they can deliver more
personalized instruction to the kids.>>Student: It makes a lot more sense.>>Cady Ching: Yay!

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4 thoughts on “Flexible Classrooms: Making Space for Personalized Learning

  1. The physical space of the classroom is so important to learning and engagement, and is often a "forgotten" aspect of planning. Love the video, thanks for sharing!

  2. What about basic, basic history and math? Half of these trophy kids will die when the real world hits them in the face. This is destructive education.

  3. The problem of School in Portugal is the lack of rooms, space …infrastructures. As much as we, teachers, want to create a "special space for diffrent students circumstances and needs, there is no chance. Schools are old and the offers are scarce or nonexistent. What are the alternatives? How can we overcome these kind of problems?

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