My students need stools, floor cushions, and easy access book bins so that their high energy bodies can comfortably hunker down with a book of their choice and level from their personalized book boxes!
My students in Santa Cruz are curious, creative, passionate and very high energy! They love to find spaces in the classroom where they can snuggle up with a book, use clipboards to write in their journals or take over the carpet playing a game with a peer.
I encourage my students not to just learn to read but to READ to LEARN about what inspires and interests them!
Can you remember what school was like for you as a first/second grader? I have vivid memories of my inviting learning environments and feeling at home in the space that my teachers created for me and my peers. My students love school, they don't want to leave their classroom and this inspires the level of engagement in their learning. My eager learners vary dramatically in reading interests and writing levels. Daily they inquire about "good fit" books and want to write about their experiences in their coastal town by the sea.
My passionate readers and writers also come from dramatically different socioeconomic backgrounds and experiences. Many of my students do not have access to books at home and they rely on our classroom and school library for their next reading adventure.
Students are empowered when they are given the opportunity to make choices for themselves. When working independently in Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop students will be able to grab their individualized Storex Book Bin full of readers at their level and of their interest! They can then choose to work using a Surf Portable Writing Table on the floor, sit on a SoftZone floor cushion for comfort or pull up at a table with a Pearington Kids Stool!
While my classroom warmly welcomes students I am finding that my student population continues to transform.
The past few years I have encountered very high energy, wiggly, bouncy and extremely academically diverse students. I have a special place in mind throughout the walls of my classroom for each and every item I have placed on our wish list.
Consider this, in my first/second grade classroom, I have students reading anywhere from a beginning of the year kindergarten level to an end of the year fifth grade level! In order to boost my students' confidence, they will be able to store books at their level without the worry of peers seeing their leveled books.
After having done the DIY alternative seating in my classroom I am finding that each student comes to school with different abilities to focus or engage with their learning, and that seating preferences can dramatically improve their experience at school. I encourage students to make a choice when it comes to seating and I want them to be comfortable and have a variety of options for seating as they spend their year with me. I would argue that we just do not provide enough time or space for students to get their wiggles out during allotted recess and lunch. So let's make space for them to have an outlet in classrooms as well!
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