Monday, September 3, 2018

What's the Buzz on Flexible Seating?

Happy New Year!

I am loving my return to second grade this year after Mr. Brian, Daisy, Duke, and I moved to Utah and I accepted a position at South Weber Elementary School!

I am still planning on posting TONS of kinder ideas and I will even be presenting in Virginia, Alabama, and Texas this school year to spread my love of all things kinder!

One goal I have for my blog is to post topics that apply to all levels of early childhood - PreK to 2nd grade - as well as super fun second grade activities!

Flexible seating is one of those mulit-level trends that are research based to help students engage in their learning better.  I could yap and yap about it, but let's see what the experts say:

...and you know I love that brain research!  Stretch those brains everyday!

So here are some of my current classroom flex seating choices for my sensational second graders:

The table trays and Big Joe chairs are from Walmart.

Amazon supplied our yellow cushion chairs, white low table, and our book bikes.

Ikea has our awesome cube stools (with storage inside) and our blue low table.

In my classroom I choose to call flexible seating "Smart Spots" and found this AmAzInG resource on TPT from Polka Dots Please.  It includes a book to introduce Smart Spots that helps young students learn the rules of caring for Smart Spots.

After reading the book, I gave my kiddos a scavenger hunt to find some of our Smart Spots.  I kept our square pillows hidden so they never actually finished, but kept looking.

I also created this Adobe Spark video to showcase our Smart Spots.
(click below)

Here are some fun pics of us using our Smart Spots!

Click below to check out my tweet of our Smart Spots on video during Daily 5 stamina building.

Along with learning about our Smart Spots during the first week of school, I also let my busy bees decorate a personal clipboard to keep forever so they always have a hard surface to complete work.  Take a look at this kiddo working against her chair with a square pillow cushion while using her clipboard.

Just a few other fun pics of physical learning....

Our trampoline is coming out next week to bounce as we respond to questions I am asking to check for understanding.

My teacher chair transforms into a ladder for students to take the stage when they have brilliant thinking to share.

Here are some pics of my Pete the Cat kindergarten classroom last year and the flex seating I used:

I got these through Donor's Choose.  I LOVE bouncy seats and I am trying to get more!

Laundry baskets and scoop rockers are the PERFECT size for kinders and firsties!

My little yellow table was a great size for kindergarten as well.

Wobble stools are a great addition, too!

I hope this little post inspired you to try some flex seating this year!

Monday, June 18, 2018

I'm FLIPPING out over summer!

Summer is here...

and I'm flipping out over sharing you some of my flipped classroom adventures from kindergarten!

What is a flipped class?  Well, apparently I've been doing it for years and wasn't aware that is was an innovation in learning.  ALL kindergarten classrooms are being flipped constantly because our kiddos NEED engagement.  Flipped classrooms are when you transform your room to add engagement and excitement into lessons.  Here are some of my flipped classrooms and lessons over the last 5 years!

When I taught pre-k in 2013, I flipped my room monthly and would leave it up  for the month's unit of study.  One of our units was an animals unit.  Some parts were created by me and my wonderful aide, while other parts were student created.  Here are some pictures of this unit of study with my pre-k kiddos.

Since my return to kindergarten in 2014, I've transformed our pretend station monthly, often with student help.  Here are pics from two different years in our apple orchard.

We also had a pumpkin patch!  Again, I created parts, students created parts, and we added parts throughout our unit of study, including the parts of the pumpkin baggies seen below.

Another fun classroom flip was our Santa's Workshop where kiddos baked cookies and made toys with pretend paints and toy tools.

Along with Santa's Workshop, we enjoyed Holidays Around the World with an airport to travel to different places each day.

See us checking in at the airport on my Twitter page!

One of our favorite classroom flips was Dinosaur Day!  I used a lot of ideas from Deanna Jump's unit.

I even made my kiddo's shirts to wear!

I wore my dinosaur costume!

We played dino-themed sight word head bands!

Fossil excavations!

Building dino caves!

Non-standard measurment!

Excavating for rocks, well actually chocolate chips!

Another fun flipped day was pirate day!  We put our literacy skills to the test with pirate themed activities on the week we focused on the chunk -ar.

I played my pARt as captain!

These ideas also came from Deanna Jump!

Phonics review lessons are perfect for flipping your classroom.  Q and U's wedding day was a great reason to flip our room!

Science lessons are another great reason to flip your room.  I already mentioned apples and pumpkins, but take a look at our five senses ice cream flip!  We enjoyed a lot from Bonnie Katheryn!

Sense of touch with "sprinkles" that have letter magnets hiding in them to place on picture mats for beginning sound practice as well.

QR stories for sense of sight


Painting ice cream pictures with scented paints

Sense of hearing with ice cream ordering

The last flip I wanted to share was student created one for a space station.  Look at the sun the kiddos had with objects in the sky!

Check it out in action on my Twitter page!

Math is loads of fun with classroom flips as well!  For the 100'th day of school I set up a spy lab because Zero the Hero was kidnapped!  We performed all kinds of tasks in my laser-filled spy lab!

My VERY BRIGHT STUDENTS dressed the part with their spy lab vests and Secret Agent name tags.

I dressed the part too!

This is just a small list of the flips I have done the past few years, but there are so many more!  How can you flip your room?

Think about it over the summer and make a list now.  I am moving to second grade this year and I am starting a list of flips for my second graders, while also reminiscing over these sweet littles who are moving on to first grade...

Such sweet memories of my fabulous years in kindergarten and Texas.

Next stop... Utah and second grade!


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