We all learn best when we are comfy!

A lot of coworkers and friends have asked why get rid of your tables and chairs!? Especially why do it well over halfway through the school year. Well I am going to explain why and how.

For starters, I knew that my classroom needed some change. (I try to change it up each year.) My students were not getting along at their tables. They were crowded. The kiddos wanted to mess around and play during independent work. I had several boys up out of their seats wanting to stand - which I was totally fine with as long as they were working. But I felt it made it even more chaotic with their chairs everywhere and this stressed some of my girls out! HAHA! I had been researching how to better get my students to be successful completing their independent work in a timely manner.

I came across TheKindergartenSmorgasboard.com by Mr. Greg! He is pretty much amazing and has some of the greatest ideas! Here is his actual link to one of his blogs about carpet seating. TheKindergartenSmorgasboard - Carpet Seating Mr. Greg actually took some time to answer some of my questions on Facebook about my concerns with starting flexible seating in my classroom. So with his help and encouragement I decided why not go for it! So I went to my principal and told him my plan. He was very supportive, gave me more encouragement, and told me he couldn't wait to see it in action. So off I went with all my excitement to pass on to my kids!!

So before the kids came in to start the day I had the custodian come take out 2 tables and 15 chairs and then lower one of my tables to the ground almost. I had 20 white boards and I was ready to start the day. I was nervous how the kids would react. I know how resilient my students are and can be due to their everyday lives. Most 5 year olds get excited about new things. So as they came in the room I let them look around and then we discussed as a class what was different and why it had changed. I threw as much excitement at them as I could! The more they saw that I was excited surely they would be too!! At least that is what I was banking on!! haha. I went on to tell them all about our new classroom and procedures we would be following to help make it successful. I modeled what to do and not to do (which is always so funny to them). And then we started our day...

Once they got to their independent work time the students were so happy to pick a place around the room to sit and get to work. I don't recall them being so quiet except the first day of school. I stopped and looked around the room at some of my busy bodies actually sitting and working!! No one was fighting over supplies. No one was rolling around on the floor. No one was spilling all the crayons everywhere. No one was wanting to boss and pass out pencils. THEY WERE ALL WORKING! THEY WERE TRUELY COMFORTABLE! I honestly can say I teared up because my heart was bursting with happiness! I DID IT! THEY DID IT! WE DID IT! At that point I snapped a picture and sent it to everyone I could think of that I had shared my vision for my classroom with!

I went home that night and wrote up a donor's choose project for some materials. I asked for clipboards, bath mats, lap tables, and balancing discs. My donors choose project was soon funded and we were very anxious to get our materials. Once we got them it made it even more fun for my students to want to find a place to sit and get to work.

Here are some of the options my students have that they can use: bath mats with clipboards, lowered table to sit on knees or balanced disc, balanced disc with clipboard, regular table and chair, bench with clipboard, or lap table. I plan to add more next year - mini pool, lots of pillows, and some scoop or lounge chairs. The possibilities are endless. They used community supplies and it worked great because they went and got what they needed and went back to their spots. I store my bath mats in laundry baskets I got from WalMart. My clipboards are stored in baskets from Dollar Tree. I have two baskets full of crayons placed around the room as well as pencils placed in various places around the room. Here are some pictures of my students working in my classroom.

I ultimately decided to implement this strategy in my classroom because I believe we don't all work best the same way. Especially at the age of 5 and 6, these students need to be able to move around and lay or sit how they feel they work best. Even as adults we don't sit and work the same way. I know I work best laid out on the couch with my laptop, but my hubby works best sitting at a desk.

We finished the year off using our flexible seating. I can not wait to start the upcoming school year with my flexible seating! I know these students are going to enjoy it just as much as the last class.


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