Learning Environment;

Creating a Positive Learning Culture

Elana Kurtz

Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva Edison, NJ

First Grade General Studies

‘Learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations—a room with rows of desks and a chalkboard, for example.

-The Glossary of Education Reform

A learning environment encompasses much more than the physical space. Creating a positive learning culture promotes learning. It demonstrates to the students an overall attitude and atmosphere where children are in charge of their learning and can take initiative towards their own growth.

The culture of, “I can…” sets the tone that the teacher is there to recognize what he or she can do, not what they cannot. It promotes positivity and the underlying tone that the teacher believes in each student’s potential.

My personal teaching goal is to continue to promote positivity and foster an environment where academic, emotional and physical safety are the number one priority. My learning environment allows for risk-taking and growth.

Creating the Culture:

  • The Goals
  • The Space
  • The Station Rotation Model
  • The Language
  • The Organization

The Goals:

Each day students set goals for themselves:

-Learning Goals:

“I can write a full sentence that begins with a capital letter and ends with punctuation”

“ I can add two parts to make a whole”

-Behavioral Goals:

“I can keep my body to myself”

“I can do a self check”

I can...

A glimpse into 1st grade goal setting...

Weekly writing

-set a goal

-review the goal

-spring into action

Learning zones

The Space:

Collaborative workspace

Guided learning station

Tech Bar

Meeting zone

The Station Rotations… math centers

Station 1

Guided math

Station 2

Math games at the Tech Bar

Station 3

Math packets, skills based learning

The learning environment

The Station Rotations… literacy centers

The learning environment

Station 1

Guided reading

Station 2

Skills work

Station 3

I-pads Reading Eggs

(Online reading program)

Another look...

The Language...

  • “Everyone gets what they need”
  • “If you look like… then you are doing the right thing”
  • “Do a self check”
  • “Are you being helpful?”
  • “We all show respect”

In Mrs. Kurtz’s class...

“Everyone gets what they need”

    • Library
      • Leveled library where students pick “just right” books daily
    • Resource/Enrichment
      • Students receive services based on what they can do
    • Seating
      • Semi-flexible seating, children sit in a spot that works for them
    • Academics
      • Center based, station rotation learning for small group instruction in order to individualize and differentiate instruction

The Organization

I love spontaneity in teaching, in fact, emergent curriculum is something I feel extremely passionate about. It only works when the learning environment is set up for success. Organization allows me to be spontaneous. All of my materials are at my fingertips. My storage is neat and my files are in order. It makes my classroom run.

Learning Environment - Google Slides