Courtney Decker, Elementary Teacher at Hewson Pubic School, Peel District School Board
Six elements of modern learning
I work for the Peel District School Board and we have an Empowering Modern Learner vision document that highlights six elements of modern learning; “Learning Environments” being one of the six elements.
In line with the above, I make a conscious effort every year to work with my students to co-create a learning environment that REALLY supports their needs. From flexible seating options to a mindful morning entry, we work together to co-construct our classroom.
Why is the physical learning environment critical
As an Elementary Grade 4 teacher, the classroom is a space where we start a new environment of trust every September when we come together for ten of the twelve months of the year. At Peel, our philosophy is that the learning space should be an inviting place where all students can be comfortable -- only then can they be at their fullest potential. Traditional old-school environments that are teacher-centric don't bode well for the latter.
In response to my students needs, I started to inquire about #VNPS, vertical non-permanent surfaces. I was looking for ways to help support collaboration and conditions to promote Peter Liljedahl's @pgliljedahl #thinkingclassroom.
And recently, we have started to use the Wipebook Flipchart. It has been a great tool to facilitate participation, persistence, and open discussions with peers in our Grade 4 classroom.
Making my students’ learning visible -- #VRG
As part of our Math program, we have been spiralling the curriculum and providing an opportunity for spaced learning. In Math, we also have implemented a Procedural Fluency block, during the first 15 minutes of our math lesson. Our new Wipebook Flipchart has been a great tool to support the changes we are making surrounding the teaching and learning of mathematics. Whether students are comparing fractions or solving an open math problem, their engagement and accountability to their work is key to their learning outcomes. I look forward to the continued exploration and use of the Wipebook Flipcharts in my classroom, and love how they help make my students’ learning visible -- #VRG.
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