Goal 16: Change Your Environment #30Goals

Goal 16 of The 30 Goals Challenge 2011

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

Goal

Short-term- Change your classroom environment in a small way!

Long-term- In what ways can you continue to change your classroom environment to show students learning takes place everywhere?

Ideas?

Some lesson ideas include…

  • Round robin discussions — Students sit in small groups on the ground or on picnic benches and discuss a topic; one student keeps a record of the discussion. The class will then come together, with each group reporting its findings.
  • Make videos—One of my high school student’s favorite lessons was recreating television commercials. First, each student group chose a commercial and analyzed the stereotypes or misconceptions in the commercial. Then the students tried to recreate the same commercial without the stereotypes or misconceptions.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt — Students can look for objects of a certain color, texture, and so forth. If you want to add a digital aspect, have them record certain sounds, and then have other students hunt for these sounds. Have the students take close-up pictures of objects and have others hunt for the object.
  • Do a field study — I’ve had elementary students hunt for fossils with a paleontologist, collect and analyze weather data with a meteorologist, and explore the microbes in a nearby river with a water engineer. A majority of these activities required only a phone call, and we even walked to some of the events. In Germany, school groups walk to several places or take public transportation, which lowers the cost to make more field trips possible.
  • Journal — Students can simply listen to the sounds around them and describe the experience in a journal, or each one can pick a place to sit and compose a poem, create a comic, or draw.

When you step outside your classroom your students will….

  • Get more physical activity, which promotes physical and mental well-being
  • Look forward to your classes
  • Learn to think outside the box, which will definitely help them in their future careers
  • Continue with these ideas outside of school and choose outside activities instead of staying inside and watching television.

What are some interesting ways you have taught “outside your classroom”?

Challenge:

In what ways can you continue to change your classroom environment to show students learning takes place everywhere?

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30Goals, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the 43 Things web/mobile app, or adding a comment below! Feel free to subscribe to The 30 Goals podcast!

Keep an eye out for the book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, that will be published by Eye on Education in the Fall of 2011!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

8 thoughts on “Goal 16: Change Your Environment #30Goals

  1. This is a great post. It really shows how small changes can have a large effect on the classroom. Just implementing any of the above activities I am sure would help students have a more positive outlook on learning!

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