School No. 3 Classroom Gets a Makeover, Surprise Reveal
While students from School No. 3 enjoyed their winter break, St. John Fisher College education students rolled up their sleeves, and worked hard to complete a classroom renovation to surprise them on their first day back. Mission accomplished!
On Monday, February 27, 24 fourth grade students returned to school in awe after seeing their brand new classroom revealed.
Over 40 students from Visiting Instructor Sharon Christman’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Literacy course worked collaboratively with School No. 3 to create a better teaching and learning environment.
Rochester City School District administrators, custodians, the school librarian, the parent coordinator, students, teachers, and staff all took active roles in the project, which also included a resource room for parents.
Over the course of two days, the makeover team made many changes to the space, including a classroom library. They added bookshelves, comfortable seating, and sorted and labeled all of the class’ books. Additionally, they purchased some specific books requested by the students. They also created a community supply center, complete with organized supplies for teachers and students to use at any point of their day. Many of the supplies were donated by Fisher students. An exploration center was designed and featured small hands-on projects and experiments.
The students also all received brand new desks, small white boards for completing writing or math exercises, and the classroom was equipped with a Smart Board.
Fisher students gave the rooms a fresh coat of paint, even including a mural of an eagle, School No. 3’s mascot.
The resource room will serve the entire school, and is a place for students and teachers to work independently or in small groups, according to Christman. She said her students also designed a “Cozy Corner” that is surrounded by books and activities specifically created for parents to work with their children at school.
“The classroom design speaks to the integration of research that has led to the creation of a systematic approach to support literacy,” said Christman. “We teach our students here at Fisher about the classroom instruction of theory, and transform it into a real life experience for them, and in turn, they set up an instructionally appropriate classroom.”
Kelsey Murphy ’13, a Childhood and Special Education major, was part of the Fisher makeover team, and said it was an experience she will never forget.
“I learned how crucial it is to have a classroom that feels like a home to the students. Teachers need a classroom that is organized and appealing, but also a classroom that will feel safe to their students,” said Murphy. “This project prepared me as a future teacher, because I now know what changes to make to a classroom so it will benefit my students and their learning.”
Education student Jake Nally chats with School No. 3 students about their new classroom.
Bridget Wegman ’13, an Elementary and Special Education major, was also part of the project and said it was one of her most memorable and peak experiences that she has had so far in her time at Fisher.
“It was wonderful to be involved in an act of community service with my fellow teacher candidates. Not only was the service to others rewarding, I also learned a great deal about myself as a future teacher and how I want my students and my future classroom set up and organized,” she said. “I realized through this process there must be a reason to support all of the decisions I will make as a teacher. My heart again is on fire for teaching and I cannot wait to begin to put into practice all that I have and will continue to learn.”
The classroom before.
The finished product!