I though I’d wrap up the week by sharing a few more thoughts on the impact an organized, attractive FACS classroom can have on the image of your FACS program. I want to begin by assuring readers that I am not suggesting that your FACS classroom should be a sterile environment completely devoid of personality. I absolutely believe that the FACS classroom should be a welcoming and inviting learning environment. It is critical, however, that learning tools like the ones pictured above should be given as prominent a place in the classroom decor as craft projects and personal photos.
Maybe it’s because I began my college career as a Social Studies and American History major, but I believe that every FACS classroom should have a globe displayed in a prominent location. There’s no easier way to make a cross-curricular connection than by pointing out the location of a country on the globe that links to the topic of your FACS lesson. When teaching culinary arts, point out the country of origin for ethnic foods. Remind students of the location of Paris and other design capitals when discussing fashion design. You’ll be surprised just how often the FACS curriculum lends itself to geographical references, once you begin to intentionally emphasize those connections.
Your classroom should also be equipped with measuring devices for use in recipe preparation, clothing construction, nutrition activities, interior design and all other areas of FACS. One of the most common complaints that I here from teachers, employers and parents is that kids can’t measure accurately. Teaching students to use basic measuring equipment and emphasizing accuracy can be one of the most important skills students take away from FACS. For example, a sturdy plastic ruler was standard equipment in each foods lab units was standard equipment when I taught food preparation and culinary arts. If the dough in a recipe was to be rolled out to a specific dimension or thickness, I expected students to use the ruler to determine when that measurement was reached. No guesswork!
Creating and giving students access to a complete library of FACS reference materials is also very important. Even though we all rely heavily on the Internet as a source of easy access to information, equipping the FACS classroom with reference books such as Webster’s New World Dictionary of Culinary Arts and Fashion 101 is important. Access to reference materials gives students experience using reliable information sources while also demonstrating that your classroom is a place where learning is taken seriously. I could write an entire post on the topic of the FACS classroom reference library and will if any of you are interested.
I’ve created a Pinterest board called Classroom Keeping where you’ll find some cool ideas for improving the organization, layout and decor of your FACS classroom. I invite you to share your own clever ideas for the FACS classroom on the Classroom Keeping board. Remember that your classroom is a very important part of the image of FACS that you project to your students, your administration and your community. I encourage you to make a conscious effort to put your best FACS forward and create an attractive learning environment for you and your students.
Have a great weekend!