21st Century School Projects
Fraser Lake Elementary Secondary School
The elementary wing of Fraser Lake Elementary – Secondary School was originally constructed in the mid-1960’s so all five classrooms were due for a renovation. Classroom #4 was the smallest classroom and was the focus of including 21st Century Learning attributes in our schools.
And while the size of the classroom was to increase by about 20%, the exterior windows would remain the same size, making the classroom darker. The challenge therefore was to make the classroom brighter without adding any exterior windows and avoid the risk potential heat loss.
The solution was to take advantage of natural daylight from other exterior windows, specifically the two exterior doorways.
The interior window configuration took advantage of natural day lighting from 2 different directions. The ceiling was sloped to allow for glazing above the white boards and SmartBoard at the front and side of the class. Recent research indicates that exposure to “natural daylight enhances academic learning, health and positive behaviour” so we wanted to take advantage of the natural daylight from the exterior doors. ( Influences of the Built Environment on Learning, D.Mitzel, D. Brown – 2006 )
The glazing in the corner of the classroom was purposely lengthened and additional interior windows were added between the two adjacent classrooms. The purpose of this glazing feature was not only for day lighting purposes but was also to give the appearance of a more open and collaborative learning environment. Students in the adjoining classroom and in the hallway were permitted to observe the academic topics that other students were learning.
The colours of the classroom were chosen by the students. The Facilities Department painted several different colour swatches in the old classroom so the class could observe the colours over a period of time and in the end, the students chose Margarita and Carrot Stick!
Nechako Valley Secondary School
Our school district is experimenting with a different style of desk in our secondary schools so that teaching staff can experiment with different styles of teaching methods. The NODE chair, by Steelcase, allows the teacher to reconfigure his or her class quickly depending on whether the teacher is lecturing, whether the students are collaborating in small groups or whether the class has reconfigured for a discussion style of learning.
The results, so far, have been favourable and teaching staff will continue to experiment with different arrangement to suit different teaching methods.
The following link is a video production that the Grade 12 students at Nechako Valley Secondary School have completed to describe the different values of the chairs.