Flexible Learning Environments

yNN's ISD is piloting flexible learning environments across the district to explore the connection between an active environment and a student's ability to pay attention and to see if these modern spaces can better meet the needs of the 21st century learner I think that the biggest fear for most of us doing this pilot was are the kids gonna go crazy teachers naturally like to have control what I've learned is giving that up a little bit allows the students really to rise to the occasion and they become incredibly responsible with the tools that they share and the environment that they share one fear would be that students would not stop rolling and the rolling would be constant and that I would end up putting these Roli desks in rows to maintain some control but that hasn't happened at all in flexible learning environments the traditional classroom is transformed by incorporating basic design elements and by encouraging movement throughout the space from rolling nodes to standing stations and hockey stools to soft seating these spaces focus on economics comfort movement and student choice they embrace the idea that bodies in motion equal brains in motion breaks and movement allows students to reset and refocus cool greens and energetic oranges color walls to create relaxed welcoming environments and bulletin boards are replaced with glass panels for quick change daily reflections of student collaboration and interests and flexible learning environments look really cool conceptually they make sense but in practice are they effective one of the more subtle things I noticed right off the bat was that students are so much more comfortable in these desks and they'll reach out to each other and pull somebody to them or push somebody away and there's the first couple of weeks of school everybody was immediately more friendly with each other just because of the chairs I think the biggest benefit to the desks is a level of comfort for the students rather than feeling like they're kind of caged into a traditional desk and stuck in one place it allows us to come together in groups and then divide quickly so that we can do lots of different types of configurations of kids within the same class period I think the number one benefit is that the flexibility for collaboration and independence and I think that plays out in a lot of different ways I think it allows for easy collaboration with the kid and it just allows them to pick the best learning environment for their bodies they're able to move around the classroom openly gives them a lot of chances to kind of recharge their body and just allows them the natural fidgeting motion that kids normally have at first glance the controlled chaos of the flexible learning environment teacher as facilitators students on the move can be a little unnerving but instruction here is learner centered encouraging independence in autonomy students flow from one station to another with purpose direction and motivation they work in teams partnerships or independently while teachers move among them for one-on-one or small group instruction these chairs really come in handy when we have Socratic seminars in this class the way it's set up is that a few people are in the center and everyone else is on the edges listening and so it's really easy to you know move the chairs to the edges where we need to be and when we're finally done you can just move them back to where they originally were used to have just computers two of them got a share in to the whole class and then you have to sit in this one seat all day and me personally about my back load now you can move around and be a few friends and just thank you can make your own tables I think they're genuinely invested in the learning because they're not being told to sit still and be quiet they're able to kind of do what kids do which is move around and talk and collaborate so it's been productive I just enjoyed a mobility an amount of movement you get in here and I think I learn sometimes as much a day the pilot spaces yield empowered learners self-directed lessons and personalized instruction they foster greater interaction and communication between students and enhanced engagement exploration and purposeful application of learning overall we found the new flexible environments to be a dynamic exciting approach to learning and again they look so cool and chauncey in Stevie

2 thoughts on “Flexible Learning Environments”

  1. What company makes these desks?  Thank you for sharing this informative and inspirational video!

  2. This video is fantastic!!!!! I am truly interested in getting these kinds of desks for my classroom.  Where can I get them from and how much do they cost?

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