Now that you understand the space, here is my favorite classroom picture of the year. I call it: Vestige of Play.
Like any good picture, there is a story. The story begins with a serendipitous moment and weaves a continuing thread that actually lasts a couple of days.
It is cleanup time. Two boys have been building with the color blocks on the ledge. For cleanup, I ask them to put the color blocks back in the window. Up until this point, the color blocks have resided in the lower window. One of the boys, who was not too thrilled about putting away the blocks, finally relents. But instead of putting the blocks in the lower window, he starts putting them in the higher window. He gives me a sideways glance as if to say: "If I am going to put them away, I will put them a way my way." I just tell him: 'That works." With no further prodding, they willingly stack the blocks in the higher windows.
This is what it looked like when they were done. It was impressive, but when I came back in the afternoon, the sun had worked some magic to make it a stunning sight---and my classroom photo of the year.