Classroom Management

Flexible Seating

I teach 5th grade, which means I need to incorporate a lot of movement into my days. Very rarely are my students sitting at their desks for a long period of time. A few years ago my team wrote a grant and received money to purchase some alternative seating options. We bought several types of chairs and a few standing desks.

20171010_133333

Since then I have purchased additional seats and I have to be honest, I kind of hate them. I know, I know, flexible seating is the in thing right now and they look really cool. HOWEVER students were constantly fighting over which chair they got to use, there was furniture everywhere, and chairs were breaking left and right.

Going into this school year I knew I needed to do something different, so this year I have gotten my desk chairs back, and placed the alternative seating options at various work stations around the room. This eliminates the problem of the chairs being moved around the classroom which makes things safer. Since my kids are allowed to work wherever they are comfortable, they’re still able to use the flexible seating options as they are intended.

20171016_120538

This table has small yoga balls (being honest- I bought these thinking they were big and was pissed when they came in and were so small). The custodian showed me how to lower the table legs so they could be used safely and this has quickly become a favorite work spot in the room.

20171010_141856

This table has ball chairs which my kiddos love. These were causing the most drama in my class because they are on wheels so basically they were just scooting around the room on them/having chair races. Management NIGHTMARE. Now that they are stationed at one table, that isn’t happening this year. *so far. Fingers crossed*

20171010_133324

The accordion chairs at my back table look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. They have a little wiggle to them but they are pretty sturdy.

20171016_120621

There are 6 large yoga balls that can be used on the rug. Students switch off using these daily. My students are numbered alphabetically by last name, so we just rotate through which range uses them day to day. Today numbers 7-12 got to use them.

In addition to stationing these chairs, I had each student sign a “chair contract”. A part of the contract outlined that students would be responsible for replacing any chair that they damage which has eliminated the problem of broken chairs so far this year.

That’s what seating looks like in 5S!

Classroom Management

Mindset Matters

As a school we have adapted the Growth Mindset Model.  The model showcases the fixed vs the growth mindset. In a nutshell, people with a fixed mindset believe that you are born with a fixed set of skills, talent, and potential. That it’s genetic. These are the people who say things like “my mom was bad at math so I am too.” UGH! People with a growth mindset understand that with practice and perseverance, anything is achievable and our brain learns new things.

I decided to post a board in my classroom full of the fixed vs growth mindset messages to remind me of how I can positively influence my students with my words. I found many different boards on Pinterest (I certainly wasn’t going to make up my own) and settled this one.

20171010_133132

I mean if this board doesn’t show my Type-B teaching, idk what does. Ripped boarder, unaligned words, uneven spacing… how many of you are twitching as you read this?

I am constantly referring my students to this board when they make a fixed comment, and sometimes they even help ME change my language. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy but it really does help my students be more confident and positive. If a child thinks that they only have a certain amount of talent, they will never be self-motivated to try harder and push through a challenge. The Growth Mindset Model proves to them that regardless of their background they are capable of anything with hard work and perseverance.