A modern school

It’s been 15 years since I retired. I never got to use Smart Boards although we did have white boards and dry erase markers. We had large TVs and were able to show VHS tapes. By 2003, every teacher had a big computer on their desk, and, maybe a few computer stations at the back of the classroom. Students generally went to a computer lab in another classroom twice/week for maybe 30 minutes. Teaching 6th grade at my last school, each student had their own desk with a space to keep supplies, books, etc. I usually had the desks arranged in groups of 4 with assigned seats.

Westlake Charter School opened recently in North Natomas. This was their first Project Ride Smart experience. We worked in four 5th grade classrooms and, oh my, how classrooms have changed. There is a large long central courtyard which branches into clusters of classrooms.
30 students could easily sit here.
The four 5th grade classrooms all have a door into a flex room, each classroom also has another door to the outside.Students can use this space in addition to their classroom space with a variety of seating and ways to create a non-distracting space. There also a small room for more privacy or meetings. Note the large TV screen. Although not directly supervised, I saw students working quietly and independently and always on task.At the other end, the entrance to the 5th grade teachers workroom:All the basic office supplies and so much more.And their own refrigerator and copier.The classroom. Many table and seating choices, different heights, styles and and configurations. You can sit on the floor with pillows at a low table, at high tables on tall chairs with bars for feet at four different heights, at smaller tables in flexible groups on cushiony stools with wheels, more traditional chairs, large exercise balls, or stools that have rounded bottoms.When students arrive in the morning, they can choose anywhere they want to sit for the whole day.Even this is ok:Gone are large computer stations. Every student has their own laptop. The Project Ride Smart videos were streamed from the Internet onto a very large flatscreen tv on a portable stand. The kids at Westlake Charter School were exceptionally polite and attentive – wonderful to work with.

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