April 4, 2017

Creating Engaging Learning Spaces for Kids

Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

This year our back hallway felt extra lonely and empty. A new school had opened up which caused us to have fewer classroom teachers. It was only myself and a few other resource teachers in the hallway, and we felt very isolated. We had this huge empty hallway without a purpose. It was dull and colorless without all of the teachers' bulletin boards and displays of students' work. 

SO... I had the idea to create a fun learning space to entice classes to come visit us in our lonely hallway! Thus came the Creative Writing Corner!


Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

The purpose of the Creative Writing Corner was to provide teachers with another space they could bring their classes. It connects to the outdoor learning garden, so it is very convenient to do class activities in the area. 

Students do not get enough opportunities to be creative with their writing. They either respond to teacher provided prompts, write about small moments in their lives, respond to stories, or write facts about a given subject. The goal of this area was to inspire students to be a bit more creative with their writing. It is an important skill that too often gets overlooked.

Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

I made table runners with pictures and text prompts to encourage students to write creative stories. Each storage bin contains additional picture prompts, story starter dice, pencils, and post-it notes. 

The bookcase includes a variety of other tools that students might need to write. These resources include: clipboards, a variety of paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, and editing glasses.

Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

The student spotlight area is a place to display student writing. Seeing stories other students have written is just as motivational as the funny picture prompts.


Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

I created a few posters on the walls to help students as they are writing. One provides reminders of the elements of a story: plot, setting, and characters. The other poster features our school's popular video series featuring our principal and school mascot. In the Mr. Jacks and the Falcon series they go on different adventures and meet many popular characters. 
(Click here to see the videos... you know you're curious!)

Overall the Creative Writing Corner has been a great success! I admit, it isn't always used for writing but it does get used on a daily basis. Everyday I hear students getting excited about the pictures and having engaging conversations about them. Quite often teachers bring their classes when they need a change of scenery. We also have many parent volunteers working with small groups at the tables. But the most rewarding aspect has been being able to give energy back to our hallway and provide an engaging space that inspires students to want to learn!

Our staff seeks to create these engaging learning spaces for our students, such as the Creative Writing Corner. Last year my teammate and I created the Reading Nook which has also been a favorite spot for students to visit!

Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

Create engaging learning spaces for your students such as this creative writing corner and reading nook.

What about your school? Do you have any of these special locations to engage and inspire students? I'd love to see them!


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