By: Keri Bristow and Kate Watts
Today we visited Design39, a pre-K through grade 8 school north of the city. Glass walls make transparency a reality. An $80,000,000 school serving 1200, with teachers given release time for more than a year, at least 30 parent forums, allow intentional planning and time to dream. 30 students in each class with one teacher, working in groups and pairs, on task, were impressive to observe. Daily random seating changes with roles within each group help students understand what they need to do and demonstrate their learning. Technology use was used by many, including a second grade girl who navigated a WiFi failure! Many open spaces for students as well as teachers to gather. Vertical white boards get students up and moving, changing the classroom dynamic by making the learning active. Tables were painted with whiteboard paint so that students could draw and write as they were collaborating. It was an inspiring morning!