June 8, 2015

Reflection: Classroom Theme

For many years my classroom was decorated  according to a theme . A teacher once told me , stick to one theme and develop it throughout the years . For the past five years that's exactly what I have done . But , throughout the years my frog theme didn't make sense . As a class we never study frogs , or used it in anyway to enhance our learning . And that's where the problem lay , did I had theme to enhance children's learning or to simply decorate a class? Ouch!

I believe everything in the class should enhance student learning and my cute frogs were not cutting it. What I did learned in the past five year is that children thrive in organized and welcoming classrooms . So how does one create that? The answer Maria Montessori already had it ! She believe that the presentation and organization of materials were key while bringing in the real world in.So, my goal for next couple of months is to achieve this through the use of color and overall organization of materials to create an environment that is both energizing and calm.

But what about all of those charts and mandatory stuff that need to be on wall? (I work in a public school)  That's an easy answer ! Montessori created impressionist charts after tapping into the child's imagination and explaining to the children the concept. Many of these charts served as a reminder to the children and were  used often as they continue to work on the subject.

How will I be using them in my classroom ? I plan to use them after explaining the concept and depending on their size they will be with the actual lesson on the shelf. The big charts will be placed in a bin next to the corresponding shelf for children to refer to them as needed throughout our studies .

Now in terms of overall design , the main theme that will be achieved is more of an invitation to learning. I am going to be bringing indoor plants and natural materials to place lessons on the shelf. My walls will be bare with frames of art done by commercial stores or student art that will correspond to what we are studying .

What a task ! I can't wait for the summer to develop this classroom theme further . Until now , I leave you with my goals and ideas . What themes will you be incorporating this upcoming year ?

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