Our K-12 school in northern Minnesota is very diverse, with approximately 51% receiving free/reduced lunch. We also have students who are minority, homeless, and displaced.
These students come from many different backgrounds, but regardless of where these students go home to when they leave our school, they walk into our building and classroom with smiles on, excited for the day, knowing they are safe and loved.
With the smaller class sizes in our K-12 school, the students are able to make our school feel more like a community. They really are friends with everyone, which is so nice to see on a daily basis. It is fun to see how much the younger grades look up to the sixth grade, and how our students are such good role models for the rest of the elementary.
This year, I have decided to make my teaching more student-centered. This will allow the students to make more choices on their own, including where they are going to sit in the classroom.
I am working on incorporating flexible seating into our 6th grade classroom. We currently have two ottomans but the kids love them so much, I would like to add a couple more. Many students also choose to work on the floor, so the clipboards would allow them to have a hard surface to do their work on.
It important that each student feels that this classroom is theirs and that they are a part of our classroom family, so I would like to have framed pictures of each student up on the wall to make them feel welcome and "at home".
The last item I would like to add to our classroom is a large classroom rug. This will allow us a space to gather as a whole class, whether for teaching or for our daily Morning Meeting. Gathering as a whole class really helps the students feel welcome, and I want to make sure each student has a place, which this large rug will ensure. Many students choose to work on the floor in our flexible seating classroom, so the rug would also give many students that opportunity during work time.
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