It was my intent to get back into the blogging world from April to the present day…
However, life has a way of determining when things happen. Two weeks ago, my mother had a stroke–thankfully, a mild one that she will recover from. In the meantime, I am caring for my dad. Caring for an elderly man who has forgetfulness at times presents new challenges. We are managing well, and I am so thankful school has ended.
This year’s class was especially sweet!
They were fun to the end, and I’ll stay in touch with them as they grow and learn. They were so cute as we played the freeze game and sang Elvis’ “You Ain’t Nothin But a Houn Dog!” One of my kinders is an Elvis fan, lol. We had loads of fun, and I received many hugs and promises to come read to my new class next year.
It is exciting to think of the new group of students and plan for the new year.
Surprisingly, caring for an elder is much easier than caring for 20 five and six year olds. 🙂 I have time to dream and plan for an even better school year. There were things that worked beautifully in seating design, and things that could be improved on. The following parts of my post will pertain to changes I plan to make in classroom design:
Wobble Seating is Awesome!
I was able to be granted two DonorsChoose.org projects last year! With those projects, we gained wobble seating and other flexible seating for our classroom, as well as coding bots like the Code and Go Mouse and Bee Bots. This year, I hope to add more wobbles and new items for our STEM tub center. If you have not tried writing a grant through Donor’s Choose, you need to. You have nothing to lose, and your students have much to gain! If you are looking for Wobble Seating, go to
Fruit Slice Cushions are too cute…but…
These, I purchased on my own. We used them daily all year for our floor seating height table areas. They held up like new for the first half of the year, but were well worn by May. I will reuse them, however I will be looking for new foam inserts. The foam crumbled in all of them. If you still like this look, you can find them here.
I was able to find three lap desk trays at Dollar Tree last July. They have held up well, but could be made of a more durable plastic. They bow in the middle with minimal pressure. They worked well for students who needed a personal space to complete work. I will be looking for heavier ones since they are perfect for extremely active customers . 😉 Note: Yoga mats cut in two made great work spaces for individuals who needed boundaries.
My “place” in the design:
Last year, my desk was near the Smart Board and teacher station. It was very functional, but a bit challenging when we had large group and rest times. Students had little space to work with me on assessments or writing. This year, I have already moved my area to the middle of the room behind where students sit during large group. There is more space for rest mats too. During the last week, I tried the new location, noting I can see everyone and everything happening in the front of the room well. I’ll keep it that way.
To Use Tables as Instructional Work Areas or Not?
In years past, I have been able to have students sit at tables for easy access to all supplies during math lessons, especially. That is until this past year! The group this year was extremely distracted. Sitting near peers spread out in the room at tables was NOT the way to keep engagement. Our go-to plan all year was to grab dry erase boards and supplies, then meet in the group area in the front of the room for instruction for math and reading. It was the best thing I have tried to help maintain focus. Tables worked well for after lessons when work needed to be completed. All cut/paste activities were always at tables.