Monday, March 13, 2017

New Building, Excited Students... Imagine the Possibilities

February 2017: New Building, Excited Students... Imagine the Possibilities

A couple of weeks ago, we had two very exciting speakers I know my students had been waiting for. Mr. Scott Goggin, our school superintendent, and Mr. Rob Blatchford, from Lesko Architecture. Because of their involvement in the construction of the new elementary building in Westlake, students were eager to hear what they said and share their thoughts about what would be most important in the new building. During Mr. Goggin's presentation, we got to see a glimpse of some possible ideas for our new building and hear some of the things that he had shared the week before with the PTA. Students were excited about the idea of having and area customized and dedicated to 4th graders. Students were also excited about the possibilities of these new learning spaces. Both Mr. Goggin and Mr. Blatchford shared exciting pictures with the students about what the learning space might look like. Students questions ranged from wondering about principals in the building to asking about what software Mr. Blatchford used to design the school models and video he showed us. What was most impressing was the level of questions my students were asking. While still thinking like kids, these were 4th graders who knew their research, knew what questions to asked and felt strongly about what would be put into a classroom.

As Mr. Goggin talked, students began to ask questions about the types of space that will be in our new elementary building. They wanted to know about the amount of natural light in the building, and whether or not there would be space for them to work with a team of peers. They had questions and suggestions about lockers, bathrooms, elevators, class size, and the library. Students suggested furniture be on wheels and were very excited about the pictures showing what the potential environment might look like.

During Mr. Blatchford's presentation, a lot of conversation revolved around the things we liked as kindergartners. He challenged the kids to think about creating a learning environment like creating a kindergarten classroom. "What did you love about kindergarten?" he asked. "Now, how do you bring those things into a new classroom or school?" Students had suggestions for him about light, color, and furniture. I think what the students loved the most was how he touched on some of our different speakers and noted several of the photos in our pin wall.

As we take the next step into our journey, I can't wait to see what actions the students take and what directions we head in. Who knows?