Monday, September 5, 2016

2016-2017 Classroom Reveal!

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom


Hi, Teachers!

AHH I can't believe I have a new last name to put above my door! I spent all week in my room trying to unpack, throw out stuff I don't need anymore, rearrange... the whole enchilada! This is what my room started out as...

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

My glorious closet. Ouch! And this is what the rest of the room looked like...

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom


YIKES!!! So, as you can see, there was a lot to fix up. Things got so crazy in my room because my school's roof was being replaced, because I was a bit lazy when I packed up, and because I had a lot to move around. Since I wanted to make the switch to having a full-on flexible seating arrangement in my classroom, it didn't really make a difference to be honest. I knew I would be getting rid of a lot and introducing a lot of new things too.  

This isn't exactly what my room is going to look like because I have changed a few seating options for the first few days of school (for example, I don't want kids sitting on yoga balls until we discuss how to be safe on them). Here's what the (mostly finished) product looks like! 

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

This is my desk! All it is is a regular desk for kids. There have been years that I've gone without it, and personally, I really like that. I need SOMETHING for my computer to sit on because it connects to my smartboard and everything else. So, to me, I feel like I am basically desk-less this year. To the right of my desk I have mentor texts and other supplies that I do not want in the regular classroom library. I've also got little drawers behind me to house my copies for each day of the week. 

In the right corner, you can see part of a table. That was my old desk! It is now being used as a standing desk for students. There are also some stools that kids can sit on while they work there if they would prefer to sit. You also might have noticed a blue yoga ball tucked away... that's going to go to it's permanent home in a few days after school starts.

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Here's another shot of my old desk. In the desk drawers are supplies for the kids to grab as needed (like paperclips, rubber bands, etc.) Those cute little stools were bought at 5 Below for only 5 bucks! My students last year loved them and would often choose to sit around the room rather than at their desks. To the right of the standing desk/stool area, you can see my super awesome decked out file cabinet. I love that thing! It brings so much personality to the room. Pinterest has tons of tutorials on how to refresh an old one.

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Here's my library. There are two more stools by some of the library shelves. One will be moved to the other side by the second day, which will be a good space for 2 kids to meet to work. The stools have been moved for now because we will be walking around in the library to unpack on the first day. Most of the bins on top of the book shelves are for holding communal supplies on the first day when we unpack.

Here's an awesome first-days-of-school hack for you... when collecting communal supplies, provide spaces for each supply and let groups of students take turns unpacking. I provide many bins with one of each requested supply (ex: one bin for collecting pencils with one pencil inside). I also designate certain areas for bigger supplies (an entire table top will be where the tissue boxes go). I find that the visual cue of the supply being in the box/table top is much easier than just writing the supply's name. Students can work independently and quickly this way.

Anyway, you can also see a little end table with a couch next to it. The end table was only 10 bucks at Walmart! Here's to hoping it lasts. I have a yoga ball on one side of the table, but, as I said, that will be moving to its permanent home in a day or two once the kids arrive. There's another couch to go on the other side of the table. After reading a lot of Kayla Delzer's flexible seating articles, I've seen how important it is to provide a few spaces in the room where kids can work in partnerships.

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Above you can see two different areas that I'm excited about. First, on the left there's a round table. Last year I had 4 crate seats here. This year I'll have two crate seats and 2 blue yoga balls. (Here you can see the couch that's going to be moved to the little area in the last picture I shared). The black table on the right (or really, the 2 black coffee tables from Walmart that I pushed together) will be for my kids who like sitting low to the ground. There will be 3 crate seats here and some cushions for students who want to sit on the ground.

I'm excited to be revamping all of my crate seats this weekend. I'm going to give them much more fluff on top so they're comfier to sit on. I'm also going to wash or replace the fabric. There's tons of crayon on them! I like the fabric, though, so I'd probably get the same fabric if it's available.

By my word wall, you can see a saucer chair thing that is meant for camping. It is super comfy to sit on. I think that will be a favorite. I've got some clipboards on the floor next to it. They will be useful for kids who want to stretch out and work on the floor or at seating areas without a surface.

I've also got mailboxes next to that chair. This will be where kids collect important papers each night, but I'm also thinking they will store their binders in there during the day. The binders are not really used during the day--they are taken back and forth from home and school and house permission slips, homework, etc.

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Here you can see that I do have some desks. Ten to be exact. This year I only have 18 students, so there are far more seating options than students, which should help to keep everyone happy. I've also got a table to the right of this picture with 3 more yoga balls underneath it. That will open up in a few days once we've agreed upon seating rules. AND I even have my grandpa's old rocking chair in the room! It went missing this summer and I got really upset for a few minutes, but I found it very quickly. Nobody took it on purpose or anything like that! It just got moved in the shuffle of cleaning out all the rooms. One day I will make nicer and fluffier cushions for that chair, but it really makes me smile to have that in my room.

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Here's the front of the room/meeting area. I'll be posting the schedule to the left of the smart board once it's regular. I use these really cute and really FREE schedule cards from The First Grade Parade. I used to put them in a pocket chart, but I find that they are easier to use and take up less space when you put magnet tape on the back of them. I've also got my calendar, morning meeting share schedule, weather station, and the number of days we've been in school posted on the board. It's a student's job to keep track of the weather and number of days we've been in school. We don't do much with it, but it's fun to count down the days until we get to 100. I still have my kids dress up like they're 100 years old!

A Word On Third's 2016-2017 Flexible Seating Classroom

Here's where I do a lot of teaching from. On the green tray next to my chair (or my students' chair if it's not during a mini-lesson!), I've got a document camera, a wireless mouse, and a wireless keyboard. Let me tell you... those bad boys make it possible to teach anywhere in the room! It's really convenient to be able to manipulate the smart board with a mouse and keyboard. I can type much faster than I can write, so sometimes it's more convenient to chart on the smart board. It really depends on why I'm writing. Sometimes you need the tangible chart right in front of you!

The easel I have is great too... I'm so glad I inherited it!!! One side houses chart paper and the other has a magnetic dry-erase board. Inside there are a few bins, which means tons of storage for me.

Behind my saucer chair, you can see a white bin on the standing desk area. This is one of the many places where students will be putting their supplies. I spread them throughout the room so that kids won't all be making a mad dash for the same place when they need notebooks or folders. As you can also see, there are supply caddies at each major work space so that kids always have what they need!

So... that's my room! If you're interested in flexible seating but want to take things slowly or just add a few very affordable options, you can see a post I wrote about that here.

I am excited because the kids come tomorrow. Today I am putting finishing touches on my lesson plans and trying to relax. I'll also be meal prepping and trying to take good care of myself. I know how stressful this time of year gets for us, but this year it's a big goal of mine to not let my self-care routine slip through the cracks. I want to keep eating well and working out. When I don't do that, I feel much more cranky and sluggish. To all of my New Jersey friends starting tomorrow... good luck!!

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