Monday, August 15, 2016


Inspiration for Redesigning Your Learning Space

As I have mentioned many times, I love listening to podcasts when I'm commuting.  Recently I listened to this podcast from The Cool Cat Teacher - "Do Students Learn Better in Chairs or Couches?"  In this podcast, the guest, Oskar Cymerman, talks about how he plans to Starbucks his classroom. Oskar is a Chemistry and Principles of Engineering Teacher at Woodbury High School in the Twin Cities Metro Area, MN.

After listening to the podcast, I went to Oskar's website, and read his blogpost about redesigning his learning space. In the blog post, Oskar mentions checking out the hashtag #StarbucksMyRoom on Twitter. So I went to check it out.

These teachers and classrooms really jumpstart my desire to bring in flexible seating and create learning spaces for today's students. This is the year to #StarbucksMyRoom!  I don't actually have a classroom, but we do have open spaces in our high school where comfortable, flexible seating can be incorporated. I hope you have the chance to listen to the podcast I mentioned above or to follow Oskar's blog or to check out the hashtag #StarbucksMyRoom.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Is Your Classroom Ready? I Have a Few Ideas for You

Active Learning Spaces

I heard an advertisement for back to school the other day. It suggested that no one is every ready to go back to school because summer is just too short. The message was that even though it's tough to go back to school, you can do it in style. The advertisement then went on to promote a clothing line. 

"My goodness", I thought, "Gone are the days when going back to school was a positive and exciting time."  I used to get so excited about going back to school when I was younger. I looked forward to buying school supplies, to seeing my friends, to new learning opportunities and to new experiences. 

But, today's students may not feel that same anticipation that I did. I know my own two high school boys don't.  Perhaps we can bring back some of the enjoyment and fun by thinking about designing our classrooms to look different from the traditional classroom and provide our students with an active learning space that fits their learning style.

Watch this Chat with Deb to get some ideas for redesigning your classroom. 

I forgot to mention this great tip in my video. Check out how this teacher uses storage towers to keep her sanity. 

Do you have ideas on active learning spaces? What have you tried or are willing to try?  

Click here to view the presentation on active learning spaces.
Click here to view other Chat with Deb videos. Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this post.