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Before students arrived on August 1st, my classroom/chemistry lab seemed empty and bare. The learning space is flexible, with two round whiteboard tables, desks grouped in twos and fours, and a comfy chair. There are so many posters on the wall that I still have 3-4 posters to hang but can't figure out where they should go. Lab equipment and classroom materials are organized, ready to use and accessible to students. So now I need students to fill it (and some textbooks on the shelf - too bad the library ran out of books because we have more students this year than ever before).
One of the things I am anxious to see in this learning space is STUDENT WORK. Maybe that's why it seems bare to me. I always leave a space for class Social Contracts, for Introduction to a Scientist poems, and for student-generated Lab Safety Memes. In the hallway outside my classroom, I am also anticipating our very first Particle Diagrams with feedback from our gallery walk. There is also the "AP Chemistry Wall of Fame" to which I get to add MSDS Sheets for all the students who got 3, 4, or 5 on last year's AP Chem exam - joining so many students from the past 6 years that it's turning into an overlapping collage of faces. I may need a bigger space!
The transformation that occurs in this space happens when the students arrive. The life and activity that they bring creates disorder, noise, mess, and JOY.