Go big or go home – Best classroom ever

I am really learning to appreciate how all of my classes are starting to tie together, well sort of. What I mean is this: I participated again in the #saskedchat last week (November 13th) as I have stated previously on my post about Twitter chats. The topic of discussion being “We’re discussing Designing Learning Spaces tonight. 1. Why is it important to rethink the design of current learning spaces. 2. What are some of the ways schools can better utilize/adapt present spaces? 3. How can a teacher make changes to a standard l learning space?” So the evening came and went, I gained an immeasurable wealth of knowledge, and I went to bed. The very next day I have my Education Core Studies seminar in the afternoon. Lo-and-behold what was the main topic of focus that day? None other than education spaces and how to make advances to incorporate new tools (like incorporating technology for ECMP) in the classroom. We divided into small groups based on our degrees and where we wanted to teach and, while my education career is still incredibly tentative, I said I would be in the Fine Arts group because I am a Dance major and Music minor. As luck would have it I was the only one in the group and got to design the classroom with whatever my heart desires. Here we go.

Here is the picture I drew for my layout of the classroom to present to the seminar group next week. I want to apologize in advance; there is a reason I am not an Art major or minor.

This is a sketch of an aerial view of my desired Fine Arts classroom.

This is a sketch of an aerial view of my desired Fine Arts classroom.

Loft

This is an Art loft included in the room, unfortunately I drew it on the back of the page so it is kind of hard to understand.

Perhaps the best way to go about this is by room.

Main classroom: Upon walking in the door there would be a row of computers along the wall to the right (bottom wall). The wall straight ahead (left wall) would have some storage units (ie. bookshelves and filing cabinets) and in the middle of the wall have Smartboard with a speaker system hooked up (do they already come with speakers? I am unsure). I got the wonderful idea of having half tables in the class from @TheWeirdTeacher and a couple of people mentioned kidney tables so I threw one of those in just for the sake of nostalgia, also to have at least one full-sized table in my class. Along the far wall (top left), where the music room cuts off, I would put a sort of bistro-coffee-beverage station with whatever the kids could bring or ideas they suggested. It would also have a higher table with stools along one wall for smaller group work, as well as a couple comfortable chairs and a coffee table. In the other far corner (top right) where the music room and dance studio form a corner, I would put some beanbag chairs, cushions, pillows, and the like, for more group work or for students to take to the half tables and use. This room would likely be linoleum or hardwood flooring that I might throw a shag area rug over just for fun. Leading into the other rooms, the door into the music room is on the far wall (top) and the dance studio door is against the wall to the right. Beside the dance studio door I would like a spiral staircase leading up to a loft, used for art projects.

Music room: This room would have a fairly simple set up. There would definitely need to be a window in the door and two along the front wall (looking into the classroom) for safety reasons. It would contain a number of chairs that are able to stack easily against the back wall, in case the space is needed for something else as well. There will be a computer in a back corner that can be used to access extra sheet music, listen to songs, or for whatever else may be needed. Also, along the furthest wall from the door (far right) There would be a large bookshelf-cabinet thing to store the spare instruments (guitars, saxophones, trumpets, flutes, etc.), accessories (picks, capos, reeds, oil, cork grease, etc.), and a large collection of CDs, tapes, and records, along with the necessary players for them. At the front of the classroom, along the wall with the door, there would be a podium, Just to the right of the podium there would be a grand piano and against the back wall there would be a full electronic drum set. This room would also be equipped with its own stereo system. The last, and likely most important aspect to the room is making sure it is sound proof so that it would not be too disruptive to others.

Dance studio: Similar to the music room, the dance studio would have 3 windows facing into the classroom. I would like the entire floor of this room to be hardwood. Also, there would need to be an entire lengthwise wall that is mirrors with a mounted ballet bar along the mirrors and along the far wall (top). There would also be a computer in this room to play music, search for dance inspiration, and other related things that may be needed. I would also install a video camera into the front of the room to be able to record any routines the students may want, as well as to be able to see areas that may need improvement. The room would also contain some mats in case they may be wanted for practicing certain movements. There would also be a small closet-thing to hold props, costumes, and other extra stuff for performances or theatre productions. Finally, along with its own stereo system as well, it would also need to be relatively sound proof.

Art loft: Briefly going into the art loft, it would include a number of large tables for students to sit and work at if they would like, and a number of art easels as well for students who might be painting. It would also have a few (5 or 6) computers for use and two printers, one for general printing or printing colour pictures and the other for printing photographs. Beside the printers there would also be a large cabinet to store various miscellaneous artsy stuff (ie. different paints, pencils, sketch pads, canvas’….etc.). Ideally I would also like to have one or two alternative options as well, such as screen-print and letterpress machines, however they would make the space very crowded. They could potentially go in the extra storage room off the side of the loft, that is over the music room, though I am still undecided on this point. Further back in the room, past the storage cabinet, I would like a waterfall-fountain and garden to add a more natural aura to the space, as well as the entire far wall to be a window to let in more natural light. This would be added to with a skylight over the loft, and a few natural light lamps around the room to encourage a natural environment for creativity to flow. I would make a balcony from the loft over the classroom, again for some safety precautions, so that the instructor can be aware of where students are and can see what is going on. Lastly, as with the other rooms, it would have its own stereo system.

A couple side notes:

  1. There would be a ‘master system’ with which the instructor could override the speakers in each room, to make announcements to the class more easily.
  2. As mentioned in the art loft, there would be an extra storage room in the loft. This could be used for excess props or costumes from previous years, extra equipment…etc.

I apologize again if my sketches are difficult to understand, but hopefully this description will aid in figuring it out. If you have any comments or questions about my classroom feel free to comment. Also, if you feel I should add or remove anything do not hesitate to let me know – I have until Friday to continue to make changes before I present it to my class.

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