Last year I decided it was time to do away with desks in my grade 2/3 classroom. What a positive change it has been!

I had been increasingly noticing online examples of cozy, living room type spaces with tables, cushions and comfortable chairs or sofas. Coupled with these wonderful examples, I was learning about the Daily 5 with a focus on student choices in book selections, writing topics and seating spaces. Taking the desks out was a good move to support a new kind of learning environment.

But I am not only in the process of making my classroom a more comfortable space but a more team oriented place that gives ample opportunity for conversation. Each week I shuffle where students sit so that they are building relationships with everyone in the class.

This leads me to share another picture from my classroom. Here you can see the Successful Learner Trait posters that are a foundational part of what I, along with my colleagues, teach at Arden Elementary School.

With the new British Columbia curriculum, we now have an emphasis on teaching the Core Competencies in communication, creative and critical thinking and personal and social responsibility. Through the use of the Successful Learner Traits, we are able to operationalize what these competencies mean for our students. Each trait is unpacked and taught to the students and woven throughout the curriculum.

If you are interested in learning more about these traits and how they are used, take a look Sue Bannister’s website:

Afterall, in today’s information laden world, we know that being compassionate, creative, confident, enthusiastic,industrious, risk-taking, strategic and thoughtful are critical for success.