SIS News Archive
During the last 6 months the kindergarten classroom have been going through a transformation. They have been researching and experimenting with providing the optimal learning environment for kindergarten students. What they have achieved is quite astounding and fantastic to see. Gone are some of the traditional types of classroom furniture and chunky shelving. In their place is a softer, more flexible and cosy environment. When you walk into any of the three kindergarten classroom these days you will probably see students working in a wide variety of learning spaces, for example, standing up and writing, sitting at a high table, using a clipboard whilst seated on a beanbag or lying flat on their bellies reading to their partners. Do you think they are comfortable? Absolutely! Are they still learning? Absolutely...and better than before!
So why the change? What are the benefits of providing flexible learning spaces for the students and the teachers?
- Students have more ownership in the classroom, of their place, when they are given choice.
- Children are reflective of their own learning style, giving them more awareness of how they learn best.
- Differentiated learning spaces provide children with a sense of comfort and flexibility.
- It allows for an increase of self-motivated collaboration. For example, students work with those who can support them best, or work individually if that suits them better, depending on the project.
- On any given day the student can decide where to work, based on their work, mood, or their personalized learning requirements.
- Differentiated learning spaces has ensured the room remains clutter free and the entire learning space is clear for the children. This supports and guides their exploration in a more subtle way.
- Teachers can use the spaces differently to create different learning areas depending on the focus of the work.
- The flexible learning spaces has provide more space for everyone and supports the various learning styles of each student.
- The students seem happier and more engaged.
- The students are participating more and having more invigorating conversations.
So if you are near the kindergarten classrooms go and see the changes, feel the difference in atmosphere and you will probably find that you don't want to leave - it feels just like home! For Mrs Edwards, Mrs Erlendson and Mrs Ill this transformation is a work in progress and they have many more ideas yet to implement...so watch their space!
Carlene Hamley, Director of Curriculum and Learning