How Burley Elementary is redefining classroom spaces.

IMG_1973This past week, I visited Burley Elementary School located in Chicago, Illinois. It’s a PreK-8 public school that is well-known for its 1:1 iPad program and its turn around in student achievement results.  I’ll write more about their 1:1 iPad program in another post, but for now, I’d like to share the aspect that immediately stands out when you enter their school.
Even though their building is over 125 years old, their classrooms are incredibly warm, inviting learning spaces. They are nothing like traditional classroom spaces. 
Several years ago, as part of their buildings turn around plans,  teacher study teams created a new teacher designed curriculum.  They also created a list of things they wanted to see happen for every student, in every classroom, every day.  This list included: read aloud, independent reading, small group work, and access to a classroom library.  In order to accommodate these needs, they also changed their classroom layouts.  No more rows of traditional student chairs – they were replaced by large meeting places, independent reading areas, and small group learning zones within each classroom.
If you’re interested in more about rethinking your classroom spaces,  I would also encourage you to visit….
Russ Goerend’s “A whole new classroom

2 thoughts on “How Burley Elementary is redefining classroom spaces.

    1. Brian Abeling Post author

      We loved our visit to Burley Elementary! There’s many great things happening at Burley, we really loved your buildings approach towards changing the classroom environment.. Brian


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