3rd Grade Room Redesign Project


As the third graders were working one day, a discussion sparked about the lack of space in their classroom. They determined that there was not enough space to comfortably move about the room and this affected their work.

To begin the exploration into designing space, students looked at what they liked about their room and what they did not. They followed that discussion by looking at photos of various other classrooms. Third graders pointed out things that appealed to them and discussed how they might be applied to their own room.

In order to begin their space design, architects Aisha and Dan Isackson came to show us how to scale buildings, rooms, and furniture. Third graders measured all of their furniture and scaled the room using ½ inch scale. They each created a two dimensional floor plan displaying what they would like to see in their room.

In order to truly get a feel for what their room design would look like, the students began exploring three dimensional planning. They learned how to use grid paper to create a ½ inch three dimensional scale model of their floor plan.

After all of the discussion about different room possibilities, it was time to test them out. One early suggestion was to take all of the tables out of the room. Third graders lived without furniture for an entire day. At the end, they listed their likes and dislikes about the design. In the end, they decided to reintroduce three tables with six seats each. Three tables with six seats each had many pros and cons. The third graders appreciated having a hard surface to write on and more space on the floor. They decided, however, that six seats at a table was just too crowded.



In order to test out all variations of classroom design, Ms. Bobbi helped the students get some new furniture. When students entered the room, there in a pile was: 2 couches, 2 lazy chairs, 4 rolling chairs, 3 coffee tables, 1 rug, 1 project table with 8 stools, and 3 lamps. In groups, third graders created new designs using the new furniture. After a group vote, they decided on a design they’d like to see in their room.

Team work and collaboration helped the third graders move their entire room around. They added and subtracted furniture as needed. Once the design was completed, they discovered that two round tables would not fit where the floor plan had placed them. Instead, they decided to eliminate one round table and keep the project table.

Students lived with the design for two days. During the experience, they charted their likes and dislikes about the design. This design had the most pros of any design yet. In the end, the third graders decided that they would like to see another design in order to experience as many variations as possible. The general consensus of the project was that student ownership of a space encouraged productivity. Students have settled on a design and are now working to make the lighting and walls fit the design.

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