If the environment is to be considered the third teacher, what does your room say? Does it encourage curiosity? Does it scream obscenities? Does it tell jokes? Is it quietly austere? The learning environment gives students important messages and cues. It 'speaks' to children - about what they can do, how and where they can do it and how they can work together.
How do you think you might behave if you spent your days in this place?
If we consider the multitude of different learning styles in our classrooms, how does the environment meet the needs of all of our learners? Does it allow for movement and flexible learning spaces to support our kinaesthetic learners? Has it considered the needs of the visual or auditory learner who may need less audio/visual distractions? More than just the physical space the environment includes the way time is structured and the roles we are expected to play. When you are setting up your classroom for next year consider these questions:
What does this environment say about what you expect from your students?
What is in this environment that helps students focus and be intentional with their learning?
How does this environment encourage a sense of wonder and inquiry?
Photo credit: Kate Hitch https://worldofwonderskindie.wordpress.com/
I hope that my classroom says, "Welcome! This is a safe and caring place for singing, dancing & learning, a place to discover, to invent and to dream, a place for listening and being amazing! What will your classroom say?