4 ways we designed collaborative learning spaces

When we built a new 3-story high school building on our former baseball field, we knew that we wanted to incorporate spaces where students could learn and teachers could teach in a very collaborative manner.

So, along with our new classrooms, in most areas of our school there are now two hallways with resource classrooms running down the center. Those are our collaborative spaces, and they’re where we got to be creative in terms of planning and design.

We didn’t want to just order 200 of the same chairs and hope for the best, so we worked with MiEN to select furniture designs and other elements that would best define and complement our new collaborative spaces. Here are four other steps we took to achieve our vision:…Read More

MIND Research Institute Debuts InsightMath, a Neuroscience-Based Elementary Curriculum

IRVINE, Calif. MIND Research Institute, a neuroscience and education social impact organization dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems, today announced InsightMath, a core elementary curriculum that transforms student learning by teaching math the way the brain learns will launch in Spring 2024.

Building on 25 years of math learning research and proven results with the PreK-8 visual instructional program ST Math, InsightMath was co-designed in collaboration with neuroscientists, researchers, educators, students, and families to give meaning to math for all students. These collaborators helped MIND’s team design a culturally relevant math curriculum that connects with all students.

“For 25 years, ST Math has brought visual models, spatial reasoning, and the perception-action cycle into the learning process,” said Nigel Nisbet, vice president of content creation at MIND Research Institute. “InsightMath expands this time-tested approach into a full-classroom curriculum experience that helps students—and teachers—become math-loving problem-solvers.”…Read More

Using online modules to strengthen teacher leadership programs

Teacher leader programs offer opportunities for teachers to assume leader roles and leverage their expertise in teaching without leaving the classroom. Despite some of the potential and promise of teacher leader programs, new programs often struggle with problems that stem from mismanagement that limits their effectiveness.

As teacher leader programs become more prolific across the country, there is a growing need for district- and school-level staff to design policies and practices to select, develop, support, manage, compensate, and retain teacher leaders. While there is a plethora of literature on teacher leadership that addresses these components, the information is not accessible to educators in a manner that allows them to easily and efficiently digest all of the different approaches and lessons learned to adapt to their context.

To make the literature on teacher leadership more accessible and engaging, we chose to develop interactive online modules—Managing Teacher Leadership—that cover nine components critical to managing teacher leadership programs. The modules focus on increasing awareness and understanding of how to design, implement, and evaluate a teacher leader programin a school building or district. …Read More

Whitney Brothers® Introduces Nature View Mobile Book Browser

Keene, NH, Award winning children’s furniture brand Whitney Brothers® today introduced the Nature View Mobile Book Browser, an imaginative interpretation of a standard book display for Early Learning environments that features a stunning waterfall image on the front and dry erase marker board on the back.

The exclusive design combines utility with beauty to entice children to pick a book and sit down by the serene brook for a peaceful read. The front features four graduated display shelves with a lip that provides stable book display and maximum front cover visibility. The back includes a dry erase marker board for drawing, writing, lessons or whatever the classroom activity entails. The browser is mounted on four heavy duty non-marking lockable casters and coordinates with all other furniture pieces in the
company’s award-winning biophilia-inspired Nature View Collection, an industry first in Early Learning furniture.

Scientific studies show that biophilic design helps to reduce stress, enhance creativity, focus clarity of thought and improve well-being, benefits that can foster a child’s deep connection to their learning environment and set a positive trajectory for future learning outcomes. The Nature View Collection by Whitney Brothers® now encompasses 35 separate furniture pieces that have earned product design
awards from Interior Design magazine, Spaces4Learning, GOOD DESIGN™ and Teacher’s Choice Award.…Read More

Education Arm of The Buck Institute – PBLWorks – Receives a $2.9 Million Grant from the Bezos Family Foundation

Novato, California – The Buck Institute for Education (dba PBLWorks) was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the Bezos Family Foundation to design an innovative social studies and civics curriculum that uses a Project Based Learning (PBL) model. The new PBL units are being designed for teachers of grades 4-12 and will be available free as Open Educational Resources (OER). 

The curriculum units are being designed with teachers in Colorado and California, in collaboration with experts in culturally-responsive teaching, and with a curriculum design team at the Buck Institute for Education (BIE).

The project draws on recent studies published and supported by Lucas Education Research (LER), a subdivision of the George Lucas Education Foundation (GLEF), which underscore the impact that PBL, professional development, and high-quality instructional materials can have on student outcomes across grade levels, racial/ethnic groups, and socioeconomic groups.…Read More

Whitney Brothers® Nature View Writing Center Earns Platinum Spaces4Learning 2022 New Product Award

Keene, NH, July 29, 2022 – Acclaimed Early Learning furniture brand Whitney Brothers® today announced its new Nature View Writing Center received the Platinum 2022 Spaces4Learning New Product Award, one of the most widely recognized awards for product innovation in the educational products market.

The inventive design of the Nature View Writing Center accommodates social distancing and activity workspace in Early Learning environments, a nod to the impact of covid-19 on student desk design. The vibrant woodland scene on the desk’s clear back panel brings the calm of nature indoors and creates a comforting personalized activity space for young children that also provides important visibility for adult supervision. Notably, the 2022 award marks the company’s third consecutive win and fourth in the last six years, vaulting it to the level of a few select brands.

Now in its seventh year, the Spaces4Learning New Product Award program honors manufacturers and suppliers whose products or services are judged for their ability to enhance learning environments. The contest judges are members of the publication’s Editorial Advisory Board, a panel of executives and professionals from leading industry vendors, industry associations, and architecture firms.…Read More

Getting real-world experience: High schoolers design a ‘life skills’ lab for students with disabilities

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

A collaboration between two schools co-located in a midtown Manhattan campus has bridged both of their missions in the most fruitful way possible: a hands-on project giving their respective students real-world life skills.

Students at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction have donned the role of architects, designing a one-bedroom apartment for their “clients” at P.S. 138M, a District 75 school serving children with moderate to severe disabilities.…Read More

How this teacher uses story coding to spark creativity and collaboration

When coding merges with storytelling, you have story coding, in which students use computational skills and design thinking as they demonstrate creativity across core curricular areas.

During an ISTELive 22 virtual session, computer science, robotics, and design thinking educator Paige Besthoff demonstrated how story coding–combining storytelling and coding–helps students develop critical skills.

Story coding involves using computer programming to retell stories–students might summarize a story, write original stories, or use programming to create alternative endings to well-known stories. Teachers can use story coding to bring history, science, world languages, ELA, and even math into their lessons.…Read More