BCEF board members were invited to BPS and BIS on Friday, December 7 to experience first-hand the dramatic changes that have taken place in the first and third grade classrooms that received funding through the recent $30,000 flexible learning spaces grant awarded to the schools through the education foundation.
Batesville Primary School principal guided the board members through some of the first grade rooms that had been transformed, explaining, “In education, it is always fun to see teachers take risks in regards to their classroom structure and instruction. I am proud of our first grade team for taking risks to create a collaborative environment improving instruction and learning within each classroom. It is exciting to see the diverse models within each classroom. Teachers have personalized each classroom environment to meet their teaching methods as well as the students’ best learning environment.”
By visiting different rooms, BCEF board members were able to see how each teacher was able to choose the pieces that appealed to them.
BPS first-grade teacher Ashley Boyce shared, “The flexible learning furniture has opened up a whole new world of learning experiences for my students. They are learning how to choose a working environment that works for them, and how to collaborate with their classmates. I can’t imagine going back to assigned desks and chairs now that my students are flourishing in this setting. Thank you to the BCEF donors for making this possible! My students are benefitting from this every single day.”
When Mrs. Boyce asked her students what they liked about our new flexible seating classroom, they said,
- “We have a lot more choices now.”
- We can work with others more often.”
- “We have more space for working on the floor,.”
- “Every day is different.” and
- “We can move while we work.”
BCEF board member Lance Green chats with student in Ashley Boyce’s classroom about their new flexible learning space.
At BIS, Principal Dana Cassidy walked the board members to the classrooms, highlighting how one teacher chose all new chairs, while another chose a mixture of couches to supplement what they already had. Third-grade teacher Cindy Weisenbach told the BCEF board members, “If someone would come in and tell me that I had to give up my flexible learning space, they’d have a fight on their hands. That’s how much of a difference it has made in my classroom.”
Teacher Peggy Lyness said, “We are so excited to be given this opportunity and so blessed. What an experience and fun year it has been so far with our new seating! It is so much fun to watch the students learn what works best for them.”
BCSC Superintendent Paul Ketcham and BCEF board member Lance Green find out why these students chose this workspace from among the many option offered in their classroom.
The BCEF board visited the classrooms not only to see their grant money in action, but to evaluate whether the flexible learning spaces program should continue as the foundation’s signature project.
“I like what is happening in the classroom, ” said Jama Linkel-Cleghorn, 2019 BCEF president. “I think it is creating dialogue between teacher and students, as well as student to student. I can absolutely see the benefits already impacting the students and teachers.”