is furnishing our studios with their dynamic designs that break the mould of how classrooms and materials are experienced. They are created in an environmentally
conscious facility, recyclable, and 100% naturally compostable. This allows us to maintain a low carbon footprint and allows children to make a connection to the source of their play and learning environment. Taking desks out of classrooms, and putting in community tables to inspire conversation, collaboration and connection.
VIVA ATELIER STUDIO
Acton Academy Jacksonville embraces the diversity of humanity and our studio elements invite all children to explore their imagination, lets their creativity soar, encourages full engagement and active learning through the power of play.
The U-Shape method of seating came into being and necessary when instruction moved from teacher centered to student centered classrooms. It is recognized as a seating upgrade to traditional rows in classes seeking to involve students more in the learning process.
Interaction is greatly facilitated in this seating arrangement. All learners are now in direct eye contact of the guide and fellow learners, thus allowing for a more natural construct in which to communicate as an entire unit. Learners are naturally engaged as they feel part of a larger group instead of just a single speck within a large frame.
The guide can occupy the center of the group for discussions so learners can easily see and be engaged. This gives everyone an opportunity to speak and really encourages the others to listen as they are looking eye to eye with the speaker.
This arrangement is more welcoming to become part of a greater whole. Connecting with the educator and other learners is greatly increased, which in turn, can greatly facilitate interaction and discussion amongst the learners. In a way, it promotes togetherness and really helps learners engage in the roles of speaker and listener. The learner is able to move into the role of participant and take control of his learning and participation.
This arrangement can also provide a positive environment and reassurance for expressing ideas. It is natural to nod one’s head in agreement when hearing something that one shares the same view; therefore, when a student opens up to express himself, this natural agreement can become encouragement for the student to share more of his thoughts. In this way, the set up becomes an enabler to students who may otherwise stay quiet.
For the educator who has to deal with behavioral problems, this can be a great advantage. Now, learners don’t only have to be concerned with the educator seeing them, but now the whole class can see them. Having to be a responsible member of the group can be enough to curtail most problems learners usually cause.
One strategy the educator can utilize to increase learner participation and discussion is sitting down. If the educator stands up, then the educator can be seen as dominant and the focus of the learners will be to listen. By sitting down, the educator and learners reside at an equal level which can be seen by the learners as having an equivalent role in providing information . This is purely a psychological construct that can make a huge difference in participation and discussion.
Our Explorer Studio‘s U-shaped seating arrangement builds a wonderful sense of class community.
NATURE EXPLORE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Certified Nature Explore Classrooms enhance the physical environment and add natural beauty to the surrounding area. A network of Certified Nature Explore Classrooms is growing throughout the United States.
We are currently in the process of creating and implementing the above design by Nature Explore’s landscape architect which would make Acton Academy Jacksonville the first in the Northeast Florida region to have a certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. We are excited to be able to share this with our learners and their families.