Holiday Gifts for Parents

Alison and I have the privilege of sharing a class. It helps so much having someone to bounce ideas off of and inspire me to be more creative. We made these adorable chalkboard signs for our parent helpers. We added vinyl to the boards and topped it with a bow. We also included a Poinsettia plant for each helper with a tag that reads Making a POINT to thank you! We hope our parent helpers will enjoy them! We added the tag to our freebies.– christmas tags

Managing Seat Selection

With flexible seating we had to come up with a way to select students’ seats. We allow them to have choice during independent work time and sometimes with collaboration work, but we like them to have a home base to go to during direct instruction.  In order to test the students ability to self regulate behavior we include them in the conversation. Where do you learn best? What kind of seating increases your focus? Where are you distracted in the room? We often allow students to choose their seat and they will  stay at that home base for the week.  Some weeks we will select seats for the class- especially if we need to select  groups for a particular learning outcome.  We keep the flexibility with choice, while still reinforcing the routines and  behavior expectations of the class.  Some students like when the teachers pick the seats because it takes  away the pressure of selecting a seat by their friends even with the knowledge that it  might not be optimal for learning.  We want to vary between our selection and student selection so they have regular practice with regulating their learning environment.  Flexible seating has to increase student achievement not distract from it.

Using Music for Transitions- Flexible Seating

We just returned from Thanksgiving break and it was so nice that our classroom procedures and routines are still in place. The students were excited to be back!   We change the students seats every Monday, so they walked in and found their seats quickly during our morning song. With flexible seating , firm management and clear expectations are an important piece of the puzzle. Students have to get their supplies and books for each subject/ lesson and they must get their items  quickly and orderly to not take time away from instruction. One of the best ways we have found is using music to structure the time they have to get their things and prepare for learning. The song should be long enough to allow ample time to prepare and to be used as a brain break. The students can get a drink, use the bathroom after getting their supplies out and share with friends. This gives them a time frame for the transition. It also allows the teacher to get their supples and prepare for instruction. It is something we will not teach without!

Cheryl & Ali