Learning Environment

Environment: The Third Teacher

Learning Environment: Summary

A learning environment encompasses multiple learning spaces–built and natural, outdoor and in, formal and informal.

Students actively participate in the design and co-construction of learning spaces including the learning opportunities that occur within those spaces.

Learning spaces are flexible, inviting, and engaging.

Learning spaces affect and reflect values and beliefs about learning by

Source: ibo.org | We Are All Explorers: Learning and Teaching with Reggio Principles in an Urban Setting. p. 84.

Co-designing Learning Spaces

Run Time: 11:22 - Dec 8, 2021
Kath Murdoch and Anne van Dam explore co-designing learning spaces with children. Co-creation and student agency are ways to give children ownership and direction in their learning and put them in the driving seat of their learning. 

A collaborative Learning Space

Run Time: 3:26 - Apr 17, 2016

Ways Classroom Design Impacts Executive Functioning

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Effective classroom design can help elementary students develop skills like organization and task initiation. Designing a space is not decorating. Instead, it should impact learning and have a purpose. Teachers often re-create the same classroom year after year without assessing whether their design guides students’ learning.

Just Because it Looks Nice Doesn’t Mean Learning Can Happen

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The author, Joshua Barr, states, "...that having an attractive environment is not the main objective or results in high quality play/learning. The truth is a kindergarten in play is a little messy, a little disorganized and a process based environment. Social media pictures and videos often stick to showing the before (children engage with the environment and materials) and leave out the during and after images."

Designing an Inviting Classroom - ASCD Video

Click/Tap on Image to view videoSource: ASCDThe physical space where students learn can greatly influence their sense of safety and, by extension, their confidence and engagement. In the video, Sarah Ortega, a 4th grade teacher at Harborside Elementary School in Chula Vista, California, leads a tour of her classroom. You’ll see how what’s up on the walls influences differentiation and learner agency.Also see article: Tending to Learning Environments

7 Learning Zones to Create in Your Classroom

Click/Tap on Image to view articleSource: Demco: Ideas & InspirationBy creating distinct zones within a classroom, educators can address the unique needs of students throughout different parts of their day. This article provides some examples of zones that can be incorporated in your classroom, and the impact they can have on students’ learning. 

Wall Documentation in an Inquiry Classroom

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Explore Kath Murdoch's 2023 post, where she delves into the transformative shift towards uncomplicated wall use. Discover how social media revitalizes visual content sharing, sparking a positive change from 'Pinterest'-inspired to authentic, collaborative walls centered on learning. Experience the tangible, immediately accessible nature of these displays, fostering a unique, shared encounter distinct from screens and delve into the importance of the environment in conveying values, defining children's roles, and shaping community dynamics. 
*** Also view Lisa Burman's PDF - Tips to De-Institutionalise Your Learning Environment [Direct Download]

Making the Most of Your Classroom Walls

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Classroom walls don’t have to be Instagram-worthy so long as they display the right information and allow students to shine.

Telling the Story of Learning in Displays of Student Work

Run Time: 2:56- Mar 23, 2022
By sharing photographs, objectives, and samples in hallways and on bulletin boards, pre-K educators can shift from decorating to documenting learning—and both students and families benefit.

Samples of Early Childhood Classroom Environments