Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Monday, 22 June 2015

My Learning Environment ... one term on!

As one of my beginning teacher goals, at the beginning of Term 2 I changed the look of my classroom.  As the term draws to a close its time to reflect on how it has worked and how my learners responded to the changes.

  • visibility of the whole classroom from my teaching station - this has enabled me to be much more responsive to behaviours (both positive and negative) and avoid them getting out of control
  • a range of working spaces available (rugs, chairs, couches) which allows learners to choose where they are most comfortable.  I've worked hard with my learners so they understand that its a privilege (rather than a right) for them to choose where they can work and that their behaviour has to be appropriate for their choice.   I've found learners are more engaged when they are comfortable and learners than struggle to sit at desks for prolonged periods of time are also more productive when choosing their own working space.
  • noise levels - by spreading out around the classroom I find noise levels are manageable, despite learners having individual devices which require them to listen to things (eg books, verbal instructions) - even in this cold month, where going outside is not possible, learners are able to listen to books without it being too disruptive for others
  • learning spaces - the new layout has created different distinct learning spaces which has made keeping equipment together easier and rotation transitions more fluid.  My learners know which spaces are available and what can be done in each space.  I've also noticed that tidying up is much more streamlined as a result of this.

I'm really happy with how the new environment has worked this term and actually struggle to find any negatives or anything I'm particularly wanting to change as we finish this term and head into the next - more of the same in Term 3.

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