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Elementary Classrooms Designed for Interactive Explorations

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Room to Learn

Presented by Pamela Evanshen, Ed.D., Professor, East Tennessee State University; and Janet Faulk, Ed.D., Associate Professor

Sponsored by Gryphon House

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In this edWebinar, learn about the APPEAL rating scale (Assessing the Pillars of the Physical Environment for Academic Learning). This tool can support teachers and administrators in designing elementary classrooms to support interactive explorations for both teaching and learning.
During this edWebinar, viewers will review philosophy and theory related to developmentally appropriate practice for young learners in the primary grades, explore the pillars of the physical environment for academic learning that make up the APPEAL rating scale, and review the APPEAL rating scale to explore the indicators associated with each pillar. Viewers will also explore the indicators of the APPEAL rating scale to assess the environment for the following:

  • Meaningful Learning, which occurs in a brain-compatible classroom environment that is safe, healthy, and welcoming for the learner
  • Social Learning that promotes positive learning interactions through room arrangement and furniture design
  • Purposeful Learning, which facilitates discovery, active engagement, and learning through allocation of defined areas in the classroom (e.g. learning centers and stations), student space, and teacher space
  • Responsible Learning that encourages and sustains engagement in learning through multiple and accessible tools and materials
  • Continuous Learning, which supports the content and process of learning through visible and authentic peripherals and artifacts which represent and document the current learning topics
  • In-Depth Learning that fosters active student engagement, higher-order thinking, reflection, and application of skills

This recorded edWebinar will provide photographic examples of how to use the APPEAL rating scale to aid in assessing and designing the primary learning environment with the goal to engage children in active learning. Practical examples of classroom design are presented through photographs and discussion. This recorded edWebinar will be of particular benefit to K-3 educators and administrators. .

Dr. Pamela EvanshenAbout the Presenters

Dr. Pamela Evanshen holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis and is currently Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Dr. Evanshen has published books and articles, and she presents at conferences nationally and internationally. She has been a teacher and administrator in early childhood and special education in public schools for 16 years prior to moving into higher education at ETSU.


Janet FaulkJanet Faulk, Ed.D. has taught at the preschool, elementary, and middle school levels. She is an experienced administrator, serving as a supervisor of special education and an elementary-school principal. As an associate professor at Milligan College in Elizabethton, TN, she taught courses in instructional methods, literacy, and special education. As an author of books and articles, Dr. Faulk continues to consult with educators about designing classroom environments to support student engagement.


Join the Early Learning Book Chats community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Gryphon HouseGryphon House, Inc. is an award-winning publisher of early childhood resources for teachers and parents.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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