Where do we learn?

The classroom is traditionally the place where learning takes place. This is, of course, not true anymore. But where does learning take place in this days and age, for the children at my school, ….

  • at home?
  • outside?
  • everywhere?
  • worldwide?

The answer would have been easier for me when I was still a PYP teacher. And even as a class teacher in Germany this wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But I’m wondering where my students really think their learning takes place. I often hear them say something along these lines:

  • learning is stupid
  • i don’t want to learn
  • I hate school

Which is not what I want to hear. For them, learning means school, and school means many challenges. But what about their learning outside these four walls they call the classroom? What about the experiences that we don’t officially count as learning? Why don’t we make them more aware of this?

Learning is everywhere and can be anything: Something to take back to school and beyond next week!



What should my classroom look like? PYP Classroom design

The wonderful thing about a long Christmas break is that you can wind down and new ideas will come to you. I have a lot of them, but one I struggle with, and one that obviously needs attention, is the classroom design.

I am not talking the contents as much as the physical design at the moment, but have had a look at a few interesting bits and pieces on the net on what a PYP classroom should look like.

This graphic in particular caught my attention:

Well, while I believe I have most of these things present and obvious in my classroom, there seems to be one point that all those documents and all the people discussion PYP Classroom design agree on:

  • The classroom needs to be flexible
  • Students and teachers need to have access to a variety of resources
  • The classroom needs to allow for a grouping and regrouping

At the moment my classroom, which is small, is laid out more or less like this:

The room is just this rectangular, boring shape, very small. We manage with 11 students in there, but we know it could be better (have I mentioned that we are moving soon?)

Right now I have three group tables, one PC table and two shelves. One divides the room a little.

For the new term I want something different. I won’t go too far, due to the move, but I want to change something that I can use with my class. I like having 3 group tables because it allows for flexibility. Students do not have a fixed spot in class, we regroup all the time. The students in my class are 8 to 9 years old!

What would you do? Any ideas?