Last Friday I collaborated to facilitate a professional development opportunity for teachers about Innovative Classrooms. It was an honor to present with a talented representative from our district library media program, Marci Millius, who provided support for my grant with her expertise. She made connections with numerous vendors and provided input based on her experience in transforming learning spaces. The presentation gave me a chance to detail my classroom overhaul and talk with many teachers. A reoccurring misconception continued to arise in regard to kindergarten, first and second grade teachers.They felt that innovation and 21st Century craft and spaces meant a “free for all”. They were under the misconception that this environment would not provide students with structure or the reading instruction required at this level. I felt that it would be beneficial to detail some of the structures in my classroom and what looks dramatically different from my past years, and what does not. I have been collecting these ideas and philosophies over the past weeks with some colleagues. And here is the caveat: It is easier for primary teachers to move toward innovation and a more modern classroom. We have MANY of the components already, and have for years!
With the help of Linda Conway from the DLMC and some primary teacher colleagues, here are some working documents detailing what innovation might look like for today’s primary student.