Instruction can be thought of as a house. There are many factors to consider when a teacher plans instruction, just as there are many rooms that go into the layout of a house. Houses vary each other; there are ranch style, split level, traditional and so forth, and the same can be said for instruction. There are things that come with instruction that are within the teacher’s control and outside of the teacher’s control. Things within the teacher’s control are factors that can be equated to rooms. The thing outside of the teacher’s control can be equated to the size of the land on which the house of instruction will be built on.
Lay of the Land
The main thing when it comes to instruction that are out of the teacher’s control, but they should consider, is time. How much time do they have with their students; how much land do they have to build? If there isn’t that much land, a teacher might build their house upward instead of outward, which changes instruction from exploring new parts of the house to reaching new levels. However, the rooms still need to be considered before deciding where they will go in the overall layout.
Rooms to Learn
There are two types of rooms to consider: Community and Maintenance. Community rooms are where student centered instruction takes place. Maintenance rooms are for teacher readiness and fluidity throughout the instruction. Some community rooms to consider would be the kitchen and dining room, the family room, and hallways or stairways (and maybe an elevator). Maintenance rooms can be the closet or basement where the fuse box is located in, the mud room, or laundry room. Again, each house will be different, just like instruction will be different from teacher to teacher.
The rooms I have laid out correspond to a factor of instruction.
- Kitchen and Dining room equate to students’ learning preferences. A lot of learning happens in a kitchen, as well as different ways to learn. Think about learning a new recipe. A student can read the recipe, listen and watch a video on how to do the recipe, or just dive in and make the recipe as they go. Then the dining room is connected because that is where students can show off their work.
- Family room is student relationships and small groups. The family room is where everyone likes to be. There is the TV, books and maybe the home computer. It is also the most interactive part of the house, therefore it can help a teacher decide how to split up the students for small groups and pairs. If the goal of the lesson is to have different students together, then it might be more teacher controlled of who is watching TV and who gets computer time. However, if it is fine for the students to pair up with who they are next to that works just as well.
- Hallways and Stairways (or elevators) are student’s abilities. A teacher has to think about how students will get from one room to the other, and if they will need help to get there. Therefore, the length of the hallways and stairways need to be considered. First, some students might need an elevator opposed to stairs. Secondly, some students might be able to go through the hallway quickly, while others take a slower pace. A teacher has to think about this as they plan the different rooms of instructions.
- Mud room and fuse box are for the teachers. In a house, it is the adult who cares that the mud room is in order and is the one that checks the fuse box when the power goes out. The mud room relates to supplies that the student might use during the instruction. The fuse box relates to the overhead and screen that might been needed for the lesson.
Layout out of the House
As I described the different rooms that go into a house and their purpose in relation to instruction, a house has possibly formed in your mind. This house is different than the one I am thinking of and from anyone else who designs a house for instruction. But as you layout a house for instruction, think about how the rooms relate, and whether building upward is better than building outward.