Musings of a 21st Century Middle School Social Studies Teacher
In my first four plus years of teaching, I have watched and marveled at picturesque Starbucks-like classrooms all over social media - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and PINTEREST. I've never done "a reveal" but am giving it a shot this year! This is it: my work in progress toward a more student-centered choice-filled classroom as I venture into what seems "quasi-flexible seating" for this year
I have heard many critics say "Isn't flexible seating for second grade?" (I teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grades!) My response is now somewhere along the lines of... (in a kinder more charitable tone) "Not unless older students' learning is done in passive, disengaged fashion in cemetery style seating!" Again, would never say this, but this is the realization I have come to! The goal is to create a classroom the students can collaborate, choose, be comfortable, and also... LEARN in.
Disclaimer: My classroom is my "movement toward" the true "more traditional" flexible seating. In my class, I am presenting options for seating with many of the traditional desks I need to have in my room this year. That's okay! I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of options in seating I have been able to finagle! I believe the principle behind flexible seating is truly student-choice. This is my guiding principle!
Here is my favorite place in the room! Love the bean bags. They're super comfy. :) The desks in the corner are NOT for "the difficult kids..." This is another place for students to choose to learn! Some students may choose to work with less distractions and hope this provides them the option!
A view of some pods and rows. Again. Choice!
Maybe you noticed... NO TEACHER DESK?!?! I am very excited to have shed this "paper and junk collector" from my classroom in order to create more instructional spaces for my students. I plan to use this table as a small group instruction table and double as my desk when there are no students in my room. Wait... What will I do when the students are in there?! Work with the students! Completely avoiding the temptation of sitting behind a desk when I could instead be working with students. #NODESK #FTW
Psst... Inspired by Ed Casey and Dave Burgess, beginning school year with "What's in the box?" Want to engage students and build relationships right off the bat!
Love this! My sister bought me an air plant. Just had to share. Bet she had no idea he would be so special in my classroom! :) Ha!
That about does it for the "big reveal!" My classroom never looks the same in January as it does in August/September. I'm sure this year will be no different - although who knows! I'm super excited to dive into this blended learning adventure with more student choice built into classroom design.
We'll see how it goes! I look forward to getting student feedback. Maybe they will have other ideas in creating a better learning space!
T-19 days. 2017-18 School Year, Here we come!