Day 74 Furniture, Floors, and Walls as Game Changers

     I wish I took more pictures of my classroom when I was teaching. I would have been able to use that as a reflection of my thinking. What I know after all these years is that if my seats were in tombstone rows, it was the beginning of end of the year (aka testing season and alphabetical memorizing names and training students on my classroom procedures season). If I was in quads, it's facilitation of collaboration season, and if they were in a large U or debate rows, we are performing, fishbowling, sitting on the carpet in the middle or doing independent work. This short article shares one teacher's use of tables, floors, and walls in his high school Spanish classroom.

What is Sacred:
I think it is always sacred when working teachers take the time to write about their process. Teachers like to learn from teachers. They like to hear about what is working for other practitioners. They like to hear confirmation of what they are already doing in print.

I like Johnson's "sell line" for reading about his ideas. "Some of the least used tools a teacher has to create optimal learning environments are the furniture,  floors, and walls in the classroom."  

Connections to Current/Future Work:

My mana'o, but I think as teachers sometimes we get fixated on those things that we cannot change: the child's home life, the mandates from our institutions, the "system." There are many things that we cannot control or have power over so we need to stop getting fixated on them and look at things that we do control. Besides following fire code regulations, we do have control over our furniture, floors and walls. Be purposeful about those things and watch the learning environment transform.

I want my pre-service teachers to be observers and recorders of those things in their own practicum classrooms. I want them to ask questions of their mentors that deal with more than just what they are teaching, but how they are making decisions about furniture, floors and walls. This is a short, good example to get them looking.


Johnson, B. (2016, November 3). 3 unused teaching tools: The furniture, floors, and wals. [Web log]. Edutopia. Retrieved from:


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