Saturday, October 29, 2016

Differentiating the Living Room.

It's the weekend, and the way my husband and I escape is to comb the local antique shops looking for anything that makes us laugh.  Sometimes we even look at nice stuff, but most of the time we're busy posting ridiculous things that are marked way higher than the opinion we have of its value.  By this I mean, we remember throwing some of this stuff away with nary a thought for the possible resale value of half-melted pilgrim candles.  We have an affinity for creepy santas -- so much so that there may be a calendar for sale at some point.  

This weekend, we had some other items on our agenda, and didn't get to troll the old stuff the way we had hoped.  But we had seen a cabinet last weekend, and decided to revisit it for some measurements.  By the end of today, our living room is now our dining room, and our dining room is now our living room.  All of the kids have seen it, sans Bailey, and Kristin is the only one who has expressed displeasure, but we know she's the least accepting of change.  Mia likes the new open floor plan, and crawled in her Gollum-like style in a circle for many giggles of time.

Yes, we've differentiated the living space.

Change is Good.

Teachers spend a great deal of time attempting to approach traditional lessons with the pizazz necessary to engage every learner.  One student gets a vocabulary list, another gets an adapted exam, still another may need an alternate reading level, or an entirely different expectation for an outcome of an assignment. Suffice it to say that the shuffling of curriculum approaches is not unlike the upheaval in my living room aka dining room right now.  Flexibility works well for students - and for living rooms, apparently -- and generates interest and conversation, ultimately  resulting in new experiences for everyone. 

It's about finding new places to do the same thing.  It's also happening with some of the student-led clubs that have been starting in my classroom during Tribe Time each morning.  The Debate Club is a circle of lively discussion, the Conspiracy Theorists are about to launch their group, and the Student Newspaper is moving into its own world -- by moving to an online platform.  Differentiating the way student newspapers are done in the 21st Century.

Change is good.  Invigorating.  Exciting.  And a bit of a challenge.  Which is exactly what we hope for differentiation, as educators.   

And it might even apply to rearranging the furniture.