Conversations #69

While LIsa was with visiting relatives, Maria and Sheila co-hosted the show. We discussed school design, classroom design and classroom decorations. We started looking at a middle school that has bright colors and bold slogans from a Fast Company article of March 24, 2010. We also shared photos of classrooms in Belize. The Belizeans created inviting atmospheres in their rooms with very few supplies. The discussion turned to more about our own classrooms and school buildings, what we would like to have (especially if there were no fire regulations).


Chat Log:

 11:27:08  PeggyG ->  Good morning everyone
 11:28:13  Sheila ->  Hi PeggyG
 11:28:34  PeggyG ->  are you using ustream today?
 11:28:38  Sheila ->  Want to join us in the skkype call?
 11:28:42  Sheila ->  yes, ustream
 11:28:58  PeggyG ->  no I'll just listen and learn :-) ... and type
 11:30:22  PeggyG ->  is Lisa P with you today?
 11:32:56  Sheila ->  Hi Maureen!
 11:33:08  PeggyG ->  Hi Maureen! It's great seeing you so many places!!! You have so many great ideas to share!
 11:33:20  Sheila ->  Lisa is busy with family and won't be joining us.
 11:33:33  PeggyG ->  thanks Sheila
 11:33:45  PeggyG ->  not seeing the stream yet-are you still getting set up?
 11:33:48  Sheila ->  Maureen, grab a mic
 11:33:51  Sheila ->  no
 11:34:03  Sheila ->  not yet I'm coughing.
 11:34:10  PeggyG ->  ok
 11:34:31  Maureen ->  Sorry, was doing something else...
 11:34:39  Maureen ->  Hello everyone
 11:34:58  PeggyG ->  looks like everyone is out enjoying the day today
 11:35:11  PeggyG ->  it's still early for me--just waking up in AZ
 11:35:30  Maureen ->  It's not nice out here in MA... cold, cloudy and windy
 11:35:45  PeggyG ->  Wow! Minhaaj is in the room!!! Great to see you!
 11:35:49  minhaaj ->  Hey :)
 11:35:51  Sheila ->  Hi Minhaaj!
 11:36:00  minhaaj ->  Hows everyone
 11:36:06  PeggyG ->  seeing/hearing the stream now :-) sounds great!
 11:36:29  PeggyG ->  We're all very busy but doing great!
 11:36:42  minhaaj ->  i can only imagine
 11:36:55  PeggyG ->  School design/environment--sounds like a great topic
 11:37:13  minhaaj ->  and shes back from Belize
 11:37:19  PeggyG ->  Sheila has been extremely busy!!!!
 11:37:26  MariaK ->  hello Minhaaj
 11:37:33  minhaaj ->  Hey Maria
 11:37:37  minhaaj ->  How have you been
 11:37:49  PeggyG ->  You can view the recording with the entire Earthcast team from yesterday here:
 11:37:53  MariaK ->  I've been fine - It's been a while since I chatted with you.
 11:38:05  PeggyG ->  they did a fantastic job describing Earthcast!!
 11:38:07  minhaaj ->  yea. i have been quite busy.
 11:38:09  minhaaj ->  managing snow
 11:38:11  minhaaj ->  heh
 11:38:25  PeggyG ->  snow minhaaj? where are you now? Sweden?
 11:38:31  minhaaj ->  Ye
 11:38:32  minhaaj ->  ye
 11:38:33  minhaaj ->  p
 11:38:38  minhaaj ->  heh finally
 11:38:45  PeggyG ->  Sketch videos?
 11:39:13  PeggyG ->  Plain English videos? Commoncraft?
 11:39:43  PeggyG ->  Great idea to show the maple syrup using the kid's sketches for this! LOVE IT!!!
 11:40:20  minhaaj ->  Actually we had earth hour here yesterday.
 11:40:25  minhaaj ->  Turned the lights off for an hour.
 11:40:30  PeggyG ->  that would be wonderful Sheila!!! it's a little harder than he makes it look though. One of my friends just created one using her flip video camera
 11:40:45  minhaaj ->  in addition to ofcourse Swedens repute as being most earth friendly place
 11:40:55  PeggyG ->  I celebrated Earth Hour last night too. Amazing experience to follow all of the tweets from people as their hour came up
 11:41:31  PeggyG ->  trying to work in the dark was a very interesting experience!!!
 11:41:52  minhaaj ->  heh.  where i live, day lasts only a couple of hours.
 11:41:56  minhaaj ->  its mostly dark.
 11:42:18  PeggyG ->  what a fun project Maria!
 11:43:00  PeggyG ->  I'm coming to your presentation at ISTE 2010 this year, Maria. Added it to my Conference Planner this week. :-)
 11:43:24  PeggyG ->  that's the story of our lives, isn't it??!! the days when technology works fine it's great :-)
 11:43:59  minhaaj ->  Wheres Lisa
 11:44:01  PeggyG ->  yes faithful followers!!!! Love your show!
 11:44:14  Sheila ->
 11:44:15  minhaaj ->  i keep following her wireless lab tweet
 11:44:19  minhaaj ->  guess its an automatic tweet
 11:44:34  PeggyG ->  we aren't doing WOW3 next Sunday either because of Easter holiday
 11:45:15  PeggyG ->  very interesting site!!
 11:46:06  PeggyG ->  what great slogans!!! we could use them as posters :-)
 11:46:07  minhaaj ->  Nice slogans.
 11:46:31  PeggyG ->  love the gymnasium :-) such bright colors!
 11:47:04  PeggyG ->  in many schools in the US we are not allowed to post any paper on the school hallway walls and this is a great alternative!
 11:47:29  PeggyG ->  we started having murals painted on our hallway walls when I was a principal--everyone loved them!
 11:48:14  minhaaj ->  talking about her, it also reminds me of Barber Lee
 11:48:20  minhaaj ->  wonder if that was her name
 11:48:28  MariaK ->  lee
 11:48:42  PeggyG ->  the kids love being a part of that setting up :-)
 11:48:47  JoseRodriguez -> puentesalmundo: estamos tu y yo
 11:48:48  minhaaj ->  i never got the chance to talk to her, but she was inspirational
 11:49:15  PeggyG ->  I think people start to tune out to slogans/posters on the wall after they've seen them for awhile
 11:51:05  Maureen ->  How about the wall at the Greenfield MA school- responsive classroom school. It used to be a wall of ceramic tiles designed by kids- that was cool
 11:51:28  PeggyG ->  this is a photo of a school mural where I worked as a university instructor--elementary school. They used student-created tiles.
 11:52:01  Maureen ->  I had all the EC kids do handprint tiles once... but I have no idea where it went... It was beautiful
 11:52:25  PeggyG ->  I haven't seen the wall at Greenfield MA school but it makes me smile because I used to live in that area--Leverett, MA
 11:52:39  Maureen ->  I did tiles once for Earth Day when I was teaching science- I really loved that one.
 11:52:41  PeggyG ->  everyone loves to see the tiles they have created!
 11:53:38  Maureen ->  I like the walls to change... I get sick of looking at the same thing
 11:54:11  Maureen ->  Fire Marshalls are a little "over zealous" if you use paper displays
 11:54:17  PeggyG ->  some teachers keep the same bulletin boards up all year long--not effective!
 11:54:23  PeggyG ->  yes Maureen!
 11:55:09  PeggyG ->  another picture of that wall
 11:55:24  PeggyG ->  they had an artist in residence to help them create the murals
 11:55:27  Maureen ->  I just went in and took down all the stuff that I had up in my room- time for new work to display
 11:55:58  PeggyG ->  I think our fire dept guidelines only allowed 20% paper on the walls in the classroom
 11:56:49  PeggyG ->  there's a lot of research about how different colors affect you
 11:57:15  PeggyG ->  apparently the bright colored walls can be over-stimulating in classrooms??
 11:58:21  PeggyG ->  we always had a fire marshall signal if we were having a visit to make sure people were complying with the code so we wouldn't get cited.
 11:59:00  PeggyG ->  that's a great story Sheila!!! very common experience!
 11:59:23  Maureen ->  This is from when I taught K... rainforest
 11:59:24  PeggyG ->  that's why it's great to get the students involved with creating what goes on the walls
 11:59:51  PeggyG ->  that's totally cool Maureen!!!!
 12:00:35  PeggyG ->  I was just thinking about how much it upset us that our fire marshall wouldn't let us having hanging paper or anything from the ceiling. That is such a creative environment!!!
 12:01:37  PeggyG ->  those rooms look really interesting Sheila!
 12:02:11  PeggyG ->  these are fantastic pictures from Belize!!
 12:02:23  PeggyG ->  Sheila's "other" students :-)
 12:03:38  PeggyG ->  love those photos! keep sharing them
 12:04:33  PeggyG ->  duct tape :-) so many creative things you can do with that!
 12:05:29  PeggyG ->  Maria did you get to see the presentation at educon 22 about redesigning schools?
 12:05:54  PeggyG ->  silence? :-)
 12:06:25  PeggyG ->  silent hallways is a rare occurrence in US schools :-)
 12:06:29  Maureen ->  @peggy- I saw it
 12:06:33  alejandra -> puentesalmundo: muy bno
 12:06:37  Leng√ºetazosLiterarios -> puentesalmundo: Lo tienes a la izquierda, MINERVA
 12:06:40  JoseRodriguez -> puentesalmundo: voy a dejar la imagenes en el ustream.
 12:06:41  PeggyG ->  can you share about it Maureen?
 12:06:44  minervabueno -> puentesalmundo: ok dejame ver porque no escucho nada
 12:06:49  alejandra -> puentesalmundo: ok, gracias
 12:07:08  william vegazo -> puentesalmundo: buenos dias/ tardes a todos
 12:07:17  Leng√ºetazosLiterarios -> puentesalmundo: Hola, William
 12:07:18  Rene Torres Visso -> puentesalmundo: Buen D√≠a.
 12:07:25  PeggyG ->  it takes so much work to maintain school gardens!! custodians don't like them because the kids leave for the summer and they have to maintain them
 12:07:31  Maureen ->  Well, I honestly didn't like the way he presented it, but he did have some ideas. It was mostly to get you thinking about how changing the environment in the classroom affects the way you learn
 12:08:09  PeggyG ->  @Maureen--it did seem to get people thinking about what their environment communicates though
 12:08:49  PeggyG ->  those wooden chairs/desks look uncomfortable for sitting in all day Sheila
 12:09:16  Sheila ->  So true Peggy
 12:09:49  PeggyG ->  we got to design a new school when I was a principal and that was an incredible learning experience for everyone because input was gathered from teachers, students, parents, etc
 12:10:34  PeggyG ->  there is a lot of research about the effect of classroom environment on ADHD students--easily distracted by lots of things on the walls
 12:11:16  PeggyG ->  it's so hard to throw things away!!
 12:11:26  Maureen ->  I just went in to school this past week and moved the computer lab back to the way I like it. When they hardwired it- late Aug... the electrician put everyone in rows. Hated it. I put them back in a more circular arrangement, only stretched a few wires...
 12:12:15  PeggyG ->  great example Maureen!! electricians and architects don't often understand what educators need
 12:12:55  PeggyG ->  we had a very experienced architectural firm when we designed our school--very familiar with educator needs
 12:14:05  PeggyG ->  we used to have a lot of portables
 12:15:24  PeggyG ->  good idea Sheila! kids love those little "hiding places" to work :-)
 12:15:48  PeggyG ->  I was in a classroom where the kids were reading under the teacher's desk
 12:17:05  Maureen ->  That's where Idea Paint may come in handy!
 12:17:44  PeggyG ->  your examples are great Sheila! they show there are things we can do in spite of the way schools are designed
 12:17:56  Maureen ->  When they hard-wired the rooms this summer- they put the ports across the room from the outlets.... amazing lack of foresight!
 12:17:59  PeggyG ->  yes Maureen re Idea Paint
 12:18:01  Sheila ->  Under the teacher's desk!  :) Love it!
 12:18:32  PeggyG ->  they mounted the SmartBoards too high for the kids to use because they wanted them centered on the wall
 12:19:14  PeggyG ->  outlets so often control where we place things in our rooms
 12:19:47  Maureen ->  We have some EC teachers who seem to need a lot of personal space. When I co-taught- we had a small desk in a corner- but it wasn't someplace we ever sat. Now it seems that the teacher desk dominates the space. I don't like it, but....
 12:20:08  PeggyG ->  welcome to those who have joined us--we're talking about school design and classroom environments for learning
 12:20:54  PeggyG ->  I remember that too Maria
 12:21:32  PeggyG ->  it also happened that when the teacher was ADHD the classroom environment was dictated by her--very sterile and unstimulating for most of the kids
 12:21:48  minhaaj ->  must leave unfortunately. It was so wonderful listening to the show again.
 12:21:55  minhaaj ->  have fun :)
 12:22:01  PeggyG ->  bye minhaaj! so great to have you join us
 12:22:42  PeggyG ->  fire marshalls definitely frown on extension cords around the room!!
 12:23:30  PeggyG ->  I love seeing the student work around the room!
 12:23:54  PeggyG ->  that's a neat idea Sheila-how was it created?
 12:24:20  Sheila ->  Digital frame has folders set up within it.
 12:24:31  PeggyG ->  don't you love it when you can visit other teacher's classrooms! I always get so many new ideas!
 12:24:52  PeggyG ->  is digital frame expensive?
 12:25:03  PeggyG ->  her spa?? :-)
 12:25:08  PeggyG ->  what fun!!
  12:25:29  PeggyG ->  we all need a "spa" at school :-)
 12:26:22  Sheila ->  About 200, but I got it on sale for much less. closeout
 12:26:47  PeggyG ->  that sounds really neat! I need to check that out
 12:27:15  Sheila ->  What other classroom designs have you seen or created?
 12:27:22  PeggyG ->  I love that idea Maria!! I'll bet former students love to visit your room to see what you have on your door :-)
 12:27:52  PeggyG ->  yes Sheila-find the picture! would love to see it
 12:29:32  PeggyG ->  now so much of the learning environment is being created online and we need to think more about what we are displaying there
 12:30:20  PeggyG ->  I've seen teachers paint fake windows on their wall just to bring in the feeling of being outside when they didn't have real windows to look out
 12:30:57  PeggyG ->  netting was another thing our fire marshall wouldn't allow :-(
 12:31:47  Maureen ->  @peggyg Maybe it's a good thing I'm not in EC any more- I made my room into whatever we were studying. I would be in trouble all the time
 12:32:24  MariaK ->
 12:32:29  PeggyG ->  I know Maureen!! very discouraging to have the educational environment so controlled by fire marshalls!
 12:33:02  PeggyG ->  that's a great Flickr link Maria!! thanks!
 12:33:03  Maureen ->  Off topic... this is what I've been playing with- while listening..  Lets you combine destinations into one hyperlink
 12:33:17  PeggyG ->  another great conversation!!! thank you!!
 12:34:03  Maureen ->  Thanks for sharing the photos Sheila- food for thought. 
 12:34:11  PeggyG ->  that's cool Maureen! is it like Netvibes or Pageflakes?
 12:34:12  Sheila ->  Thank you for joining us today!
 12:34:28  Maureen ->  Altho it's early to say.. weather man says 70 and sun for Sat!
 12:34:43  PeggyG ->  going to be 85 degrees today in Phoenix
 12:34:48  Maureen ->  @peggy- no- different- gives a menu when you click on a hyperlink
 12:35:02  PeggyG ->  thanks Maureen! can't wait to explore it!
 12:35:14  PeggyG ->  bye everyone! have a great day!