Classroom Makeover Delivers “Big Wow” for Teacher and Students

This week a KSQ design team’s efforts brought a teacher to tears–happy ones. Over the weekend, we completed our third annual Project Classroom makeover for a deserving and dedicated public school teacher at Grissom Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools. Her reaction at the “big reveal” Monday morning made all the hard work well worth it! Lynnette Shouse teaches the gifted and talented program at Grissom Elementary, and her students range in age from Kinder through sixth grade. Our team met with her over the summer to understand her curriculum, color preferences and wish list for the makeover, then set to work planning how the room might be reimagined. Students in the gifted and talented program often learn differently or at an accelerated pace, so Mrs. Shouse offers a lot of hands-on learning opportunities such as LEGO robotics and project-based work. She mentioned additional white board space would be nice as well as that she didn’t love the harsh fluorescent lighting over head. School space planning was step one, during which the team organized the room into zones—including a makerspace area for the existing LEGO table, a computing zone and reading lounge to house her large book collection and allow students a cozy area for diving into a good read. After two months of planning and design, the team was ready for the installation weekend. From 5 pm Friday until 9 pm Sunday, volunteers from KSQ, Cyntergy AEC, Wallace Engineering and Flintco, LLC pitched in to make the vision a reality. MLP_6108 (sm) Project Classroom_2 [caption id="attachment_4041" align="aligncenter" width="410"]Project Classroom_3 Lisa and Lori put the book collection back in place based on photos taken by Carl (in background) before we made a mess of the place.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4042" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Project Classroom_4_Mannington Carpet tiles donated by Mannington and paint provided by Sherwin Williams helped to bring it all together for the reading lounge. The purple incorporated into the design is Mrs. Shouse's favorite color.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4043" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Project Classroom_5 Students can discuss ecosystems with the help of terrariums we brought in. The plants were a great way to create separation between the reading and computer zones.[/caption] Monday morning at 7:40 am was the “big reveal” ala Extreme Home Makeover. Accompanied by several of her students, Mrs. Shouse came in to see what we had been up to all weekend. We were relieved she liked the results! [caption id="attachment_4044" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Project Classroom_6 We shared our floor plans and models of the room with the students to show how we use technology to design spaces.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4045" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Project Classroom_7 TPS Teacher of the Year Lynnette Shouse poses with some of her students and a few of the volunteers from KSQ's Project Classroom Team (include this year's Team Leader Carl Gibson, 2nd from left in back row). All photos by Melissa Lukenbaugh /[/caption] We were so pleased to have members of local media join us for the big reveal, including Fox 23, CBS-TV Channel 6, and the Tulsa World . Their coverage includes interviews with the teacher and students, video capturing the reveal and tells more about this project which has become one of our favorites every year!