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Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

Chalk Beat – Candace Carrington

“This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience. We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.”(more)

Is classroom technology good for learning or wasting time?

The Dallas Morning News – Joan E. Hughes

“Can tablets teach children basic math and reading skills? As a professor who studies technology integration in K-12 schools, I can say the answer is yes, but there are some critical caveats. Computers running instructional software have been used to teach basic mathematics and reading since the 1960s. This software shows the student content on a certain topic. The student practices by answering one or more questions, and the computer evaluates the answer and provides feedback. Then the process is repeated with a new topic. Present-day instructional software uses more sophisticated data analytics and algorithms to adapt the instructional content to each student.”(more)

Do the Benefits of Smaller Class Sizes Always Equal the Hype?

Education World – Joel Stice

“Overcrowded classrooms are one of the biggest workplace headaches for teachers and many education experts argue for the benefits of smaller class sizes. Both the gains and drawbacks to smaller class sizes are touched upon in a 2017 study that looks at the push for smaller classes in New York City’s public schools.”(more)

Can a simple classroom redesign inspire student achievement?

E-School News – Dr. Juli Marshall

“Imagine a 5th grade classroom in the middle of a lesson. What do you see: charts, letters, and drawings on the wall? A teacher writing notes on a large chalk or white board at the front of the room? Rows of desks and chairs, which face a single direction? Maybe you imagined small bookshelves, an American flag, or other supplies. It’s likely we formed the same, all too familiar image in our mind. This has been the traditional classroom for decades. Any generation could walk into a room and immediately identify it as a classroom. At South Carolina’s Saluda Trail Middle School, my room has evolved from this stagnant design to one of innovation. It’s flexible. It’s colorful. It’s engaging.”(more)

Rethinking Use of Space and Time for Next Generation Schools

Education Next – Catherine Lange and Nicole Falcone

“For too long schools have followed a similar architectural design, rooted in “sit and get” learning traditions that were created in the post-Industrial Revolution era. This, combined with the rigid schedule where secondary kids move in age-based cohorts every 40 to 50 minutes to another content area creates an inflexible school experience, designed with the“one size fits all” mentality. Many people around the country, though, are questioning the logic of both and creating radical new ways to approach time and space to transform student learning experiences.”(more)

Charter schools transform classrooms into flexible learning environments

Ed Source – Michael Collier

“An unusual cluster of bright-colored schools, perched on a well-landscaped hillside adjacent to a shopping mall in Richmond, have become models of innovation for breaking down the conventional ways that schools are designed. In particular, the interior spaces in the three adjacent charter schools mark a radical departure from traditional classrooms by creating “flexible classrooms,” which allow for any number of configurations of students working together, individually or under the guidance of a teacher. The latest designs are in line with a push in California to rethink traditional classroom design. In November, California voters approved a $9 billion bond measure that will help pour money into local communities to renovate existing schools and build new ones.”(more)