Tech Cafe Part 2 - Redesigning Learning Spaces

 If you build it, they will come! So it took a while for the teachers to get comfortable allowing the students to work in this space "unsupervised." I totally get that. Some of us educators are very controlling, Type A personalities:) But it only took a couple of times to send the kids out to work independently that we "got it." They love it! They know it's a privilege and none of them want to jeopardize that!

Some days it looks like this:
And some days it looks like this:
Whether it's one, two or 20 kids it's a valuable space that the teachers and students really enjoy using.
The day the custom chair arrived.

Mrs. Grant using Smart TV/Chromecast.
"So how much did that cost?" you might ask. I do not know the exact cost but somewhere around $12,000 is my estimate. You see the furniture is custom ordered with custom fabrics and colors. Of course you wouldn't have to do that. This is our district's first attempt at redesigning a current space. you see, we don't all get to build a new school or have classrooms/spaces built on to our buildings. We wanted to see if we could use the space we already have in a creative way.
Yep! I'm sitting on the floor in awe of their work.

Interesting uses of furniture:)

Yes, this many 3rd and 4th graders were really working in this space quietly and on task. The teachers are in the classrooms right next to this and frequently check on their progress and work in the "Tech Cafe." I was as amazed as anyone with how quiet they were all working, writing, reading, listening, etc. You have to see it to believe it!

So come visit us! See it for yourself.
(Click here for Part 1)

What I'm Reading

This is an interesting list for fall reading. Looking for ideas to work with challenging students it appears. And Beyond the Bake Sale is a reference for the whole year.

Connected Educator Teacher Challenge #CE14

*This challenge is cross posted on my staff blog as a challenge for them this month. It was created in collaboration with @8Amber8.

In your mailbox you will find a Tic Tac Toe grid for Connected Educator Month. Last year you could fill out the Bingo card in the spring semester. Tic Tac Toe should be a little easier to complete for more people:) Once you complete your game board turn it in the to the office you can choose your FREE doodie! If you "black out" the whole card you can cash in for a FREE doodie AND 1 hour lunch coupon. Your class will be covered a 1/2 hour before or after lunch!

Please don't over think it. The goal is to explore connected education.
Activity explanation
Game board

Redesigning Learning Spaces - #WEETigers Tech Cafe

Not everyone gets the chance to work in a new school, open a new school, or be able to redesign their current school. So when my superintendent entertained my idea of redesigning some current spaces in my "old" my building I jumped at the chance. What started as a "what if...." conversation last spring has become a reality!

The 1st drawing...
I think I originally used Lucid Chart for this design. My original idea included a counter/bar with stools. You will see that did not make the final plan but I think it may still be an option. Student ideas were also considered. Hind sight I would not show the kids my design before asking for their ideas. Their designs mirrored mine:( They were great but I think I limited their thinking.
Student example/idea
 At this point in the process I became pretty assertive. Once you have student input/ideas it's pretty defeating to think or say you have to back out or it was just a pipe dream. The fact that we are proposing a bond issue with building projects worked in my favor. I think I got the green light for the project as a trial for one of the architect companies. But you don't see me complaining.

So these drawings are amazing! Then we had the meeting....Let me preface this by saying I invited myself to the meeting. Their ideas were okay at the time but I wasn't sure. On this occasion I had my girls with me. The meeting was unexpected and I didn't have childcare that day. My 3rd grader actually swayed my thinking on a couple of things.

And so it began...Stay tuned for Part 2 when I can spend more time sharing the final project. (Spoiler alert: There are finished project pics on my instagram account @mmiller7571)