Thursday, July 10, 2014

#NerdySpaces - My Project for 2014-2015

Every year I decide on a project that I'm going to focus on and share on my blog. Last year it was 20 Time, the year before it was an Epic Evernote Experiment, and I documented the Epic Romeo and Juliet Project from 4 years ago. This year, I'm going to focus on creating a better learning environment by create spaces that are more conducive to modern teaching and learning.

I'm going to be calling these #NerdySpaces and I will be using this blog to document the changes that take place in my classroom. Today I will be heading to my room to take a bunch of before pictures to document what my room used to be and I'm going to start brainstorming on what I would like my room to be. Here are just a few of my random thoughts.

I want to ditch my teacher desk. I've always sectioned off a part of my room that is the teacher area and students are not allowed. I'm not sure why I do it, but I've always done it and I want to stop. I want the entire space to be open and accessible to all of the students. My desk tends to just hold stuff I barely use anyway. I will miss the IdeaPaint top I painted for the desk, but I feel I can do something different if I push myself.

I want to dump the chair/desk setup and move to tables or desks that are more easily moved to create group work stations. I've seen some cool things from Steelcase and Bretford. It is more than time to rethink what the classroom looks like.

I teach in a 1:1 iPad classroom, but I feel like I still teach too much from the stage. Part of that is the environment I teach it that is designed to have students looking to the front of the room at me or the student presenter. I need to reconsider the "center" of my room and how a new layout might promote more collaboration and better learning.

I want students to have a say in what the classroom is going to look like on any given day. I want the flow of the room to be dictated by the learning, not the learning dictated by the flow of the room.

There are so many possibilities, but time is short. I want to have the new room set up by the time I start school in September, but that might not be possible. I need to find some sponsors that are willing to go with me on the crazy adventure and support new ideas. I'm blessed to be in a building that has always supported by ideas and I can wait to see where this project takes me.

I learned from my students last year that it is ok to dream big and fail big. This might be one of those times, but I'm not going to let that get in my way. Stay tuned for updates over the course of summer as I figure out what my room is going to look like.

Please feel free to leave me comments below with suggestions on articles to read, vendors to contact, or anything else that could help me create the best #NerdySpaces for my students. If you are a vendor and you want to partner with me for this great experiment and be featured on my blog for the year as I write about the awesomeness that is my room because of you, please send me an email at

Thanks everyone!