Back in the days when I was a seven-year-old kid, my class layout was this:
It was like this for the past three years. We shifted to a different class (to upstairs) when I was Std 4. There were four big doors at both left and right. Imagine those doors in Convent School. Bright and airy. Good ventilation despite the fact there were no windows. When it rained, the doors need to be closed. It can very dark. My 3 years in the class were surrounded with chalks, dusters, blackboard and chalk dust. The wall at the back of the class were chosen art work produced from art classes. The desks and chairs were made of wood, heavy wood. Heavy because I had the trouble of lifting it up to the table during recess and when school was over. I was small and thin at that time. By the way, I sat in the middle row for three years. No changes. Short ones sat in front while the tall ones sat at the back.
I wish things were different. I wish I had my ideal classroom.
Items to make the ideal classroom.
1. Bean Bags!
Yes, colourful beanbags. Reeks out the FUN aura. I do not see it as the lazy way of sitting. Bean bags make the environment more relax.
FUN*RELAX=STIMULATES THINKING which eventually helps the creativity of the children.
2. Colourful walls
Yes, not grey, pasty colours. Taken from a quote in Sakila’s article
"Colors best suited for classrooms reduce agitation, apprehension and promote a sense of well-being. In brief, colors that reduce tension and anxiety produce a home-like atmosphere, in contrast to an "institutional" one. This corresponds with Educational Design Principle No. 7: "Consider Home as a Template for School." Wall colors are important; the hanging of artwork in various colors will not significantly compensate for otherwise monotonous or disagreeable wall colors. "Institutional white," although acceptable for some ceilings, is a common wall color choice that has little justification for widespread use. "
3. A fitted HUGE white board on the wall for the students to express themselves.
There will be lots of colourful markers for the kids to choose. It can be a corner where the kids can brainstorm and do discussions. Never underestimate the power of the kids’ mind.
4. Plants and Animals
Potted plants and fish corner. Of course there are hamsters and rabbits but I think there might be kids who are allergic to fur. Anyway, this corner is to instil the sense of being responsible individual by taking care of a living thing. Make sure the plants and fish live until the end. There will be rotation to take care of the items as to nurture collaborative responsibility.
5. State of the art computer corner
There will be a computer workstation. I am not going to provide 30 computers in one class-room. Maximum 14 with TWO printers (coloured) plus good sound system. Why? We want them to share, take turns, learn how to give and take. The workstation will be connected to the projector. The workstation from the mouse until the arrangement of the workstation and also the tables and chairs are all ergonomically safe and suitable to children’s physique.
So how will the classroom looks like?
The layout of my classroom will be somewhat like this:
You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW