Some call it chaos – I call it collaboration

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Mrs. Marino’s Class

At any given moment when you walk into my room this is what you’ll see. Kids are sprawled (yes, I said sprawled) out all over the carpets, soft chairs, and bean bags. They have chairs pulled up in places that they don’t belong. Did I mention that it’s loud? It is so loud. It is messy. There are 20 different things going on at once, and I love every second of it. Some kids will have their own devices out, some may be on my Mac Book, some on the desktops, and some with my little white boards and Expo markers. The noise doesn’t bother me because when I walk around the room I can hear and see that they are on task. A few years back I sat through a training where the lady told us to be facilitators – not to whole group lecture the whole time. I thought she was crazy. How could students learn if we were not standing in front of them teaching the entire class? I never thought I would be doing exactly what she said to do that day. There is seriously so much learning going on around the room that I cannot help but smile. Students are helping students. They are building each other up, and it is so cool. Not on Fridays, though. On Fridays we have a quiet day. We track our data, take assessments, read, and draw. We “ketchup” for the week. It’s our calm in the weekly storm of learning. This is my teaching style, and it works for my students and me. I used to be paranoid about the noise level. I didn’t want people to think that I was out of control. Luckily, my administrative team knows me. They know my personality, and they trust what I am doing in my class. Should everyone’s classroom be this way? Probably not. Students need variety, and they need to learn how to work in different environments. Is my environment the right way for everyone? Nah. But it’s the right way for me.

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