Friday, February 13, 2015

Every picture tells a story

I am not one to be constantly taking pictures and do not consider myself much of a visual person at all. I am always forgetting to document, to take photos at events, or some would say, worse. I hardly ever even put pictures into my blog. Boo! Bad blogger!
But on my visit to the classroom of Zoe Branigan-Pipe and Beth Carey, I literally could not stop taking pictures.
On her blog, PipeDreams, Zoe describes the experience of creating a classroom based on UDL, to appeal to all learners and to offer a setting to fulfill the educational and social needs of the 400 or so students who participate in the gifted program based at Holbrook School. I am sure that was a factor in my engagement with this space.
With a number of discreet areas, and the walls full of useful or interesting information, it is deceptively complex in the support it offers the students. In reality, when you are immersed in each area, there is just enough there for what you want to do.
The use of chart papers with handwritten points follows my own leaning towards tools that are flexible and inexpensive, yet serve the purpose. And they are often the result of a collaborative discussion in my class, and I suspect in Zoe and Beth’s.
Secondary source materials, inspirational goals, visual aids, QR codes, learning goals, big ideas, and a multitude of tech and non-tech tools are everywhere they might be needed.

It is obvious that choice and student voice are fundamental to the space.



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