Scott uses couches on casters and many other features to create an interactive and flexible learning space in his Secondary English classroom.
I visited Scott Findley at Gleneagle. When you walk into Scott's English class, the impact is immediate. On one wall is a floor to ceiling screen which is used to project assignments, text, and student samples. Instead of desks, the Scott uses about ten couches on casters. He can reconfigure his classroom in minutes to suit his purposes (theatre seating, face to face for small groups, etc.). At the back of the classroom, there is a room-length raised platform so that even the students at the back have clear views of Scott, the other students, and the screen. Scott also uses the platform as a stage for presentations. The space really suits Scott's style of teaching which is highly interactive.
Scott's classroom arrangement also affords another big advantage: the ability to have a Movie Club. A couple of times a week, Scott shows movies in his class at lunch. Why? Scott explains: "During lunch, for some kids there isn't a lot to do. They either hang out and smoke or go to 7-11 and smoke. And sometimes that can lead some kids down the wrong path." Instead, students can come into his classroom and have lunch while they watch a movie. It builds commuinity because quiet students can come and enjoy the movie, but also have a common, shared experience with other students. In a way they feel connected to the other students in Movie Club.
It started with one couch. Scott saw how popular it was with the students and gradually brought in a few more. And then people started dropping couches off in his classroom. Originally, Scott cobbled together a big screen by mounting two whiteboards together. His school PAC saw the value in what Scott was doing and funded a sound system and a real screen.
During his English classes, Scott also uses the gigantic screen effectively. He uses it for formative assessment, projecting assignments so that every student gets the same information, discussing key concepts. Scott also uses the screen for assessment as learning, projecting students' actual work and having peers discuss and critique them.
Scott's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org