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By Eugene Malloy

The classroom and it’s setup can be very important to the teacher and student. Having a functional yet inviting place to learn can stimulate learning and help the student be motivated to learn and participate a lot more than the average student. I consider these three points to be the most important when designing a classroom geared towards student learning.

Interactive - The Classroom should be an interactive place, one that promotes participation and discussion. It should be set-up in a way that while the teacher is the focal point, the students will also feel encourage to engage in the class. I think arranging the desk in a debate like structure, this way the teacher can still see all students. However the students can now all see each other, and should further encourage discussions. Also switching up the look of the classroom from time to time should promote a feeling a freshness and belonging.

Visual - I think the way a room is decorated can affect moods, which in-turn could also affect a students learning ability. So I feel letting the students take part in decorating their classroom would also promote a sense of belonging and accomplishment. Having them present how they would decorate the room would also make for a great group/collaborative activity.

Production – The classroom needs to be a productive place as much as interactive. I think adding some forms of modern technology should aid in that effort. For instance doing away with chalk boards and just having large screens in the class, where a teacher can present the lesson in power point instead of having to sit there and write everything out. It would save on time and energy and give the teacher more time to teach said lessons.

Sources:

http://www.iglls.org/files/classroom_brief.pdf

Contributing Author: John Doyle 


To appropriately set up a student centered classroom it is important for educators to focus on creating an environment that fosters student growth in multiple areas. The educator needs to focus on providing students opportunities for: construction of learning, metacognition, educator/student cooperation in learning, collaborative opportunities, and meaningful assessment in real world contexts. 

As one looks to set up the classroom, there must be different centers available for students to collaborate and work together to discover the world around them. Constructing learning means, “A deep understanding occurs when new information offered through higher order thinking activities prompts the learner to rethink and reshape prior ideas.” (Iowa Core) next the educator needs to provide students with topics that inspire their interests. These topics will force students to use metacognitive thinking. Educators need to provide students opportunities to reflect on what and how they learn. As educators work with students they must provide the students with opportunities to take ownership of their learning. Along with this educators need to give students the opportunities to work together to discover the world around them. 

As we provide the students these opportunities, classroom setup is imperative. Having stations for students to work together is only the beginning. We must also give the students the opportunities to work together either at their assigned table or in the centers around the classroom. The educator must also provide the students authentic assessment. This means providing them specific detailed feedback constantly. By giving them feedback we must present essential questions that continue to make students think and work together to solve real world problems.

IowaCore (Date Unavailable) Characteristics: Student Centered Classroom, retrieved: July 1, 2016,  https://www.researchgate.net/file.PostFileLoader.html?id=5704ec22217e20d4af586f33&assetKey=AS%3A347829341048834%401459940385827

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