ACT students tasked to design their own classroom

Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer

 

Mrs. Little and her fifth grade students talk about the process of designing their classroom.

 

Little designers have taken on the big project of designing their classroom environment.

Since the first day of the school year, Mason Intermediate’s fifth grade Academic and Creative Talents (ACT) program has been working on personalizing their classroom setup and learning about design along the way.

Built over the summer, the ACT classroom was given new furniture such as tables and couches. Deena Little, a fifth grade teacher in one of the ACT classrooms, decided to let the kids in her class design their own classroom.

“We took a lot of surveys at the beginning about how (students) like to learn; if they like sitting on hard chairs or if they prefer sitting on something soft,” Little said. “It was pretty mixed, so that way they knew that they need to incorporate both styles in their design. I think it really helped them into developing ownership, and now it’s their classroom and their community.”

One of the major themes of the fifth grade ACT class is design, which teaches students about working through problems, brainstorming ideas, coming up with a plan, and getting feedback. The project is aimed at introducing kids to design and assembling the classroom to fit their educational needs. Fifth grader Marley Feng said that although her group ran into some troubles during the project, in the end, it contributed to her learning experience.

“I learned how the process of design works and I also learned that you have to be creative,”  Feng said. ”It makes the classroom more fun because now we know it and it really suits us. I just think it fits our room and everything fits perfectly.”

In order to figure out whose design they liked the best, the students presented their ideas to the class and decided on one to use. Fifth grader Mitchel Crissmen said he was excited to walk into the classroom and see the class’ vision come to life.

“I think it’s so special because not many people think kids can do something so big as design a room or do something big that adults would normally do,” Crissmen said. “Overall, kids can do anything if they put their mind to it, and it’s really easy to get caught in something that you like to do.”

Video by Henri Robbins.

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