The countdown is in full swing as construction workers install their finishing touches, accepting that some things will not be shipped in time, and concentrating on thinking about my students, their needs and my plans. Today, as I (somewhat) relaxed in the new space, a colleague popped in. She and I discussed the mundane subject of the traditional number line that crawls around the classroom. I asked her, “Where should I put it? How high? How low?” She replied with, “Do you really need a number line crawling around the room to teach numeracy? Do kids really use it and refer to it?” This made us think and discuss for about 10 minutes. We brainstormed some options that fit with a more personalized model for students and a more flexible approach to space. After this discussion, the traditional number line was transformed into a roll which could be used at a moment’s notice on the floor, tacked on the wall for learning, or taken out into the hallway, plus more differentiated number grids and lines for individual learners.
This post is not about the number line. It is about the NEED for collaboration among teachers. My colleague’s suggestions and questions moved me forward and made my plans better. It is my dream and hope that I will have visits from many other teachers, and they will feel comfortable enough to question my thinking and make my environment better for kids!