A math teacher who redesigned his classroom has found since the start of school that classroom changes boost student learning.
At Avery Middle School, math teacher Tim Weidmann believes that it’s more than aesthetics that change which a room is re organized and updated. Instead of desks, students have seven wooden tables and 35 black cubes for seating. Walls are painted in bright coloring, white boards cover the walls, and wood laminate flooring also creates an upbeat focus.
“It’s a good environment, and it keeps it loose,” said eighth-grader Jackson Oliver. “There’s less stress and we can focus on our work.”
“The hard curriculum was already (in place), but I finally get to teach the way I have always wanted to teach,” said the veteran teacher. “I see the students as more willing to engage in all of the different things we’re doing, and those who struggle with math are more willing to try.”
Students still study the curriculum and standards set in place by the Common Core Standards. The way that they work and interact has been changed.
Weidmann was inspired by a presentation at the Computer Using Educators Conference last spring, which said that many classrooms are built on the model off a hundred years ago – rows of students with the teacher at the front of the room delivering a lecture.
“We’re educating kids for different reasons now and different jobs that were not even around back then,” Weidmann explained. “The presenter asked, ‘Have we found a different way of doing this that might be better?’ This got me thinking – I want to try to do something different.”