- Project Cost: $1000
- Funded to Date: $100
- Teacher Name: Clarissa Taylor
- School: Pershing Middle School
- Grade Level: 7th and 8th Grade Spanish
Communication and collaboration is a big component in any world language classroom. Students are asked on a daily basis to have conversations with one another and complete activities that require moving around the classroom. Almost 90% of the vocabulary I teach is accompanied by an action or gesture that goes along with the word. We do a lot of moving in my classes! I currently have large Spanish 1 and Exploratory classes. Big classes allow for great collaboration, but can be difficult to allow for a lot of movement due to the 32 large student desks in my room. I would love to create a café environment with flexible seating for my students. My vision of this café would give my room a more spacious feel by opening up the middle of my classroom. It will also give students choice on where they would like to sit, provide opportunities for easier collaboration, create an atmosphere of comfort, and allow my students more mobility within the class. I feel like a café “experience” will also help my students become more excited about going to La clase de español.
- Planned Use for Funds: Any funds will be used to purchase high tables that will line the walls and windows of my room. These tables will replace the majority of the individual student desks. Funding will also go towards purchasing stools and other flexible seating items.
- Need Represented: My students need to be able to move freely within my classroom to have conversations and interact with one another without having to dodge several student desks. They also need to be able to have one-on-one practice conversations without having to stand right beside another group. Funding for this grant will help my students to replicate more authentic conversations by creating space and movement. The grant will impact close to 130 students at my school each year.
- Academic Impact: Studies have shown that classrooms designed to support collaborative learning increase student engagement compared to traditional row-by-column seating. Classrooms that are intentionally designed to support differentiated learning and movement are more apt to keep students engaged and provide more opportunities for group work, peer discussions, one-on-one instruction, and much more. My hope is that these changes to my classroom will make it easier to converse with one another, play interactive games, be able to move more freely without so many boundaries, and enhance the overall learning environment.
- Student Population: Pershing K-8 serves 959 students and has a free and reduced lunch rate of 41%.