Sunday, March 13, 2016

Flexible Seating

Flexible Seating

Flexible Seating is all the rage. I made the plunge last October.  It all started with moving the chairs out of the room and raising the tables.  We had standing tables and clip boards to use on the rug.  I noticed almost immediately how the kiddos were more focused in the afternoon.  Was it that they had the ability to move and wiggle? Was it a fluke?  I kept the chairs away and I continued to watch the kiddos.  Not one complaint about standing -- and there was always the option to sit on the rug.

Here's what it looked like at first. All the kids standing, some kneeling, and one or two at the back table.  We still had assigned seats. (Table count 4 standing tables.)

Then I wrote a Donor's Choose Grant.......

I asked for tiny leather chairs, yoga balls, wiggle seats, and book boxes.  The wonderful parents of my students made it happen!  I was funded in less than a week.  It was awesome!  Here are some photos of our room as things started to arrive.

Boxes begin to arrive, and clearly we can't focus on the Tumble Book. You can see the wiggle seats on the floor.  As soon as they arrived I dropped one of my tables down to the very shortest setting.  I also drug one of my tables away.  (Table count 2 tall standing/ yoga ball tables, 1 low to the ground wiggle seat table.)

The yoga balls arrived next. Thankfully the book boxes arrived too!!
Then leather chairs.

 At first we had to sign up everyday for the following day's spot. Then I got pneumonia.... and we learned to be flexible.  Students choose their spot as they came in every day. Here is Hawaii -- our vacation spot, aka a small table with tiny chairs.  The only remnants of traditional seating left.

We have settled in to a groove with our seats.  Then I found these bad boys...  Scoop Seats!!
That's my First grade teacher daughter with me at Wal-Mart.  Yes, we do have 13 scoop seats in our carts.  No surprise she has flexible seating too.  Really, teachers shouldn't shop alone, you need someone to talk you down from buying every single blue scoop seat at Wal-Mart.  OR in our case, some one to climb the shelves and dig around for EVERY blue seat.  Don't worry we left all the coral and pink ones there.  (Follow me on IG to see all our antics - splishsplashkim)

The VERY same weekend we went to Nebraska Furniture Mart and I got this awesome circular rug to anchor the 4 leather seats.

The rug is a floor sample so it has some tears.  I just turned it over and duct taped it back together.  I LOVE the rug!!  You can see our wiggle seats on the table (I had just washed them, I had noticed dried frosting on a couple! Gross!)  Also, notice the book boxes on the shelf in the back.

Every book box has the following already in it; math journal, white board, black dry erase marker, crayons, pencil, eraser, highlighter, and any papers from Daily 5 that they are still working on. Then they choose their spot for the day! Kiddos start the day by getting their book box and choosing 3 just right books.  They add a clip board if they need it for the day.  

In early February my customized Rocking Chair arrived!!! My fabulous principal loves to paint, decorate, etc... so she made me the gorgeous chair!  I ordered a custom coffee table too.  The coffee table will go in the place of the little tiny tables with the leather chairs.  I'm anxiously awaiting is arrival.

Here's a little darling reading on an iPad in my chair.  Gotta love those little ones!

After the scoop seats arrived in our room it was crazy crowded.  I had to ban the scoop seats from the rug. -- Let's just say there were serious issues with fingers getting rocked on.  UGHHH!!! So the scoop seats needed their own space.  One more table moves to the hall.  My poor custodian is a saint.  (Table count - 1 tall standing/yoga ball table and 1 short wiggle seat table.)

I think I need another rug, so the scoop seats can have a defined area.  I hate having them wander around. I may just go visit Nebraska Furniture Mart and see if they have another floor sample.  LOL!!! 

Are you using flexible seating?  
How does it work for you?
Do you have questions - ask away.  
I'd love to help if I can

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sometimes You Just Need DONUTS!

Goal Setting With Kindergartners
Our school has a weekly “Tune Up” Tuesday, where we review procedures and routines.  We also teach/review a social skill.  Each week varies from restroom “tune up”, indoor recess review, or walking in the halls.  This week we choose an item out of our Chinese take-out box. Our “Tune Up” for the week was to discuss the number of Goldens we had received as a class.
 (A Golden is awarded to each K-2 and 3-5 class from the specialists.  This week our class won the Golden Award for Computers.  YAY!!!!)

We talked about what we needed to do to get a Golden in all the other specials. (Lunch, Music, P.E., Art, Counselor, and Library)  We discussed our behavior following directions the first time was mentioned more than once.  So was LISTENING!!  No surprise there was talk of taking care of yourself, aka NO TATTLING!!

We made a list of rewards. We figured out we had 6 special Goldens to earn, and DONUTS has 6 letters! WHAT?!!  Guess what else has 6 letters?  RECESS!!  So we are earning a very special recess with donuts as a snack.

I whipped up a visual for my class to help keep us on track. I am hoping these delicious donuts help us focus. If nothing else they may just make us hungry.

Speaking of Hungry

I was super motivated by all the IG pictures of Gold OREOs.  I went out and found the Wilton gold spray and turned my Oreos into leprechaun GOLD!  We are finishing up our story Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. 

It only seems fitting to eat some leprechaun gold. I made enough for my class and my next door neighbor.  Good thing I bought 2 cans of spray-- the backs didn't get as much gold, but it still tastes delicious according to my taste testers.

I think it seems like a great way to start our Spring Break.  We will be hanging at home -- Any one else have fun plans?  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March Currently

I can't believe it's already March!!!  Where did this school year go?  I'm linking up with Oh Boy It's Farley for this month's currently. 

Listening to ALL the political ads.  WHY????!!! WHY???!!!! WHY??!!!! Why is this year so challenging?  I do not identify with any one at this point, which is unusual and not good.  Not to worry though my youngest is all kinds of gung-ho since she gets to vote this year.  She was interviewed on the news at a Bernie Sanders rally today.

Loving all my Kindergarteners, they are delightful!  So kind, so thoughtful, so full of hilarious stories!  In kindergarten I tend to not believe everything that is told to me... for obvious reasons.  They are five!  My favorite this year, was the little one that told me their dad was a doctor for our local sports team. The child announced this after another student mentioned they had gone to a football game.  I literally said, "that sounds awesome!"  Not another thought.  Fast forward several weeks, mom and dad of said child are going to Hawaii out of the blue--- hmmm... I think that's wonderful, what a great get away.  Then I'm sitting at home watching the Pro Bowl with Mr. Davis and it dawns on me.  The Pro Bowl is in Hawaii, her dad is in Hawaii, HOLY MOLEY!! This kid's dad REALLY is a doctor for the sports team.  I did some googling and by goodness the kiddo was totally on point, dad is a doctor for the sports team.  (Mind Blown)

Thinking it's MARCH!! Yikes!!! We have learned so much, but I always get a bit panicky, we have so much more to do!  These kindergarteners are SMART!!!  I mean sooo bright!!  BUT.... I have plans, we have work to do!  Give me 9 more weeks before I have to hand them off.

OK... SO.... I STILL need a DAY OFF!!! Seriously, I love these kids and we have a lot to learn,  I need to re-charge.  We had exactly ZERO snow days.  That's right NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADA,  So I need some serious refreshing.  My winter break was spent on couch duty (stupid pneumonia).  SO I am PUMPED to get to hang out at Home Goods, and Hobby Lobby, and Target.  Bring on my break!

I am a teacher need I say more?  Where's that tax refund?  No, really, what is taking so long?

Our school is not a polling site, it's a local church.  I have worked in a school that is a polling site.  NERVE RACKING-- all those people.  Not my idea of fun!  In this day and age aren't there other places for voting?!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Back in the Swing of Things!

1st Day Back 
Boy did I miss my Smarties!  Winter Break was a full two weeks, but I was out beginning December 10th with Pneumonia!  Holy Cow!  Pneumonia will kick your butt!! I tried to come back 1/2 days right before break - I lasted Wednesday and Thursday until noon.  I thought well, I made it thru 2 1/2 days, why not try for all day Friday - with two parties, one for the best student teacher ever and one Winter Party, ummmmmm not so much.  School nurse sent me home via the emergency room by 11:00 am. Thank goodness, I had the most wonderful student teacher, co-workers and building sub ever!!! 

NOW I am fully recovered, at least I think I am!  I survived 3 days with my Smarties. Ready to take on this new year!  SO excited to see all the great growth in those Kinders.

We started back with 2 PD days.  Yikes!! Professional Development always causes me to overload.  Luckily our principal is super realistic about getting things done.  We did share out our ONE word for the year.  I picked POSITIVE.  No matter what the challenge, I plan to stay positive. On that note - do you follow me on IG?  add me splishsplashkim, I'd love to follow you too!! 

We settled right in and made some New Year's Resolution. We read, Squirrel's New Year's Resolution and then brainstormed good goals or resolutions for us.

Please note one of my kiddos wants to fly a drone!! Seriously, I have a future pilot in here!
We are still loving the flexible seating.  The Donor's Choose grant was funded right before Thanksgiving and we have been chillin' in our very Starbucks like atmosphere.
Here's 4 of our leather chairs and end tables being used.

 Wiggle seats at a low table.
 This is Hawaii, our vacation spot - to get away!
 Standing at a tall table.

Yoga balls!  I ordered 3 more, these are EXTREMELY popular.  Believe it or not the kids do really well on them!
Here is our other leather chair area, and you can see the poofs on the other side of the carpet area.  
Overall, I am in LOVE with the new seating.  The kiddos really have adjusted to picking their seating and do a great job selecting where they are actually productive.

Hope you are all having a spectacular NEW YEAR!!
Happy 2016!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five for Friday

SOOOOOOO....... Kansas City Royals WON the World Series.  The games may have been seriously interfering with my teaching/sleeping schedule.  Goodness knows we seem to love extra innings!  Love the celebrations!  My two favorites are the team and the radar filled with fireworks!  My kindergarteners may have been really, really squirrely on Monday.  

WE had a tough day on Monday!  Thank goodness we had an awesome presentation courtesy of Mr. Glover, a fabulous kindergartener's uncle.  He talked all about being a Federal Fire Fighter and his work for the state in wild life conservation.  

Look at those cool animal furs!  It was so interesting hearing about the different animals that we have in Kansas.  I was amazed at the softness and thickness of the fur.  I am thinking a beaver coat may need to be in my future for recess duty!

 So my daughter was down there with 500,000 of her closest friends!  I was at home watching up close and personal on my T.V., because they CLOSED school!! 
 Roughly 25 schools closed for the celebration Tuesday.  
This is CRAZY!!!! and AWESOME!!!!

 The chair-less classroom is working out well!! The kiddos seem to have adjusted to working where they are most comfortable.  We've got kiddos at my guided reading table on stools, standers, leaners, kids on their knees, kids at Hawaii (our vacation spot aka tiny table and chairs), laying and sitting on the rug. I literally ran around the room taking pictures because everyone was working!!  I am anxiously awaiting my Donor's Choose Grant to be approved and up.  I want to get yoga balls, wiggle seats, an teeny, tiny leatherish chairs!!!

My favorite part of Kindergarten, the love notes!  I already have a pretty big stack.  This one is from a little sweetie that came in knowing 3 letters (not the ones in her name).  Now she knows almost all of them.  I love how the kid blossom.  Kindergarten is my favorite!!