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Environment by Mind Map: Environment

1. Investigate

1.1. The learning envonrment should be one that encourages investigations, questioning and thinking.

1.2. Investigations can taken place in different learning spaces or environments.

2. Collaborate

2.1. A collaborative learning environment is essential for allowing children to discuss and share ideas, problem solve and develop social skills.

2.2. All children benefit from an environment that is collaborative as they all contribute their creative and skill-based strengths to a collective group and in turn, build on or develop their own understandings.

2.3. All spaces in the classroom or outside the classroom should be seen as potential for collaborative learning spaces.

2.4. Items in the physical learning enrinoemnt should promote collaboration. For example, tables might be set up in groups to allow for group work and peer discussion as opposed to tables set up in a line. Another example might be flexible seating options for different learning contexts or learning purposes.

3. Create

3.1. Together, teachers and children create a classroom culture of learning.

3.2. Creations by children are displayed in the learning environments, thus creating a feeling of ownership of the environment by the children.

4. Document Learning

4.1. Learning should be documented on classroom walls. It should be a display of a learning journey undertaken by the class and/or individual students.

4.2. Documenting learning helps children to see how far they have come, what they have learnt and how their thinking has changed over the course of the inquiry.

4.3. Documenting learning allows children to see that their ideas and wonderings are valued, it allows for questions to put up and explored over the course of the journey, it keeps both the teacher and students focused on what stage of the inquiry they are up to.

4.4. The Inquiry process should also be a part of documenting learning so it is explicit to the children what stage of the inquiry they are up to and what learning went alongside that stage of inquiry.

4.5. Allows for reflection of learning.

4.6. Invites all parties - children, parents and teachers to be involved in the child's learning journey. Promotes discussion.

5. Anchor Learning

5.1. The learning environment can act as an anchor for childrens' learning. Experiences such as excursions or participating in a learning activity outside of the usual classroom environment can work as anchors for childrens' memories.

5.2. Teachers can use anchor charts as evidence and reminders of learning experiences to hang on the learning walls.

6. Design

6.1. The physical design of the learning environment takes careful planning and thought by teachers. This includes the set up for furniture, learning materials/resources as well as designated areas for particular activities, e.g. quite space for a reading corner, special interest corner, and so forth.

7. Discover

7.1. The learning environment should promote discovery through play and exploration.

7.2. Materials in the environment are carefully chosen by teachers to encourage exploration and discovery

8. Reflect

8.1. The learning environment works as a constant reminder of the learning journey or what children have learnt.

8.2. The environment should be one that encourages ongoing reflection that can be done as a group or indvidually.

9. Share

9.1. Creating a shared excitement about learning in the classroom amongst all.

9.2. Ample opportunities for children to share their ideas and learning.

10. Inquire

10.1. The learning environment should engage and support children to inquire into things that interest them.

10.2. The environment should have learning materials and provocations that spark interest or intrigue for children to start an inquiry.

10.3. Both indoor and outdoor learning environments should be embraced as learning spaces for children to inquire in and about.

10.4. A variety of different learning environments that are carefully planned by teachers, opens up endless opportunities for children to inquire.

11. Connect

11.1. When interacting with the learning environment, children are able to make connections with the learning content. The learning environment allows children to connect old knowledge with new knowledge they gain through hands on learning experiences.

11.2. Connecting can also take place through an online learning environment through the use of the internet. For example, connecting with another school/classroom via FaceTime to share learning.

11.3. Promoting childrens' ownership of the learning environment through encouraging child/parent connections.