How to Make a Learner Centered Environment

Do you spend a lot of time decorating your classroom? Do you stress over your theme and classroom environment? Do you spend hours decorating instead of planning lessons? 

I don’t and I want to give you permission to step away from Pinterest and do what  is best for students not what looks prettiest!

I have always wanted to provide the optimal setting for learning and research talks about the best classroom design. Check out the article from MindShift:To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks! The students use the room as they see fit; there are no assigned desks. Yes, there are areas and work spaces that are used to make rule following easy but the room is ours! We work, move, and share around the room, and we sometimes drift into the hallway! Shhh…don’t tell!

I always played school and wanted to be a teacher! Once it happened, I realized my desk was a storage place for almost everything. It was much easier to stack things on top of the desk especially as the day went on and “crazy” happened. 

So I do not have a desk. Can you find my desk in the picture????  I didn’t “ditch the desk” but it morphed!
Soon to be Listening Center in front!
Here is:

A light up box under the desk!  The top of the desk has become the writing center. The students stand to write. Now I never have a problem of students falling out of their chairs.

SO my classroom philosophy of classroom design:

1. Make special areas for students to work.

small seating area near the writing center

The large blank wall will eventually include out Kidwriting Crowns along with our writing descriptors and check lists. Students need to be able to move and decide the best possible seating for their learning.
classroom design teach magically
small carpeted area to hang out and work
2. Keep things neutral and let the lessons spark the interest.
Teach Magically Classroom design reading table
Reading tables

All those blank cupboards will develop as the class grows and becomes a family. Classroom art work and student led displays will make it like our homes.

3. Supplies and materials emerge as the community in our classroom emerges.
Teach Magically Classroom design fine motor
Fine Motor and Word Work

It has only has puzzles and Potato Heads on the shelf right now!  Eventually, materials will replace and switch with these as the year progresses. Do not place things out until the students understand how to use each thing. Direct, explicit instruction has to happen for use of material along with curriculum

Check out the other interesting areas in our room!

Teach Magically Classroom design pretend center
Pretend Center

Teach Magically Classroom design
Soon to be Science & Art

Teach Magically Classroom design class library
Classroom Library

Another article I found helpful was 3 Quick Tips for a Beautiful, Brain-Friendly Classroom. Hope it helps!
Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for learners!
And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically, a place where best practices, fun create a magical learning experience. 
Here’s where you can find me:

Make everyday magical,
💖Debora from Teach Magically

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kidpeople Classroom

    I always love to see classrooms. The goodie I got from yours is the light box. Great idea. See you around. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

  2. Debora Marines

    The light box is new to me this year and so easy to make! Christmas lights and a transparent box, tad-ah!

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