How to Introduce Flexible Seating

Scoop rockers on a rug with title How to introduce flexible seating

All At Once
Maybe it's the start of a school year, or maybe you just really stocked up, or that Donor's Choose project got funded, and you have everything and want the students to try it out! Last year, this is how I did it. I went over (briefly) the guidelines (ie rules) for the seating options, let students try it out and tweaked things, gave reminders, and yes, sometimes told certain students they couldn't use a certain seat because they were not using it safely (my number one rule). Last year, I also had a rule the first week of school that students needed to try a different type of seat each day. I kept a little checklist on my clipboard to help me make sure kids were doing so. This also helped if someone said "I don't know where I can sit" especially on the fourth or fifth day. I could say "Okay, you tried wobble stools, IKEA stools and scoop rockers. How about the carpet seats, a stability ball, or camp chair today?"

How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips !
One Option at a Time
Perhaps you are just more comfortable introducing and having students try out one option at a time...It's pretty easy if you are bringing just one option out, like the first year I tried it when I brought in two camp chairs from home. I let a couple kids try them out each day and then after a few weeks I rounded up a stability ball chair and we tried that, too. However, if you do this, you need desks or an alternative for most of the students to sit at at first when you only have introduced one or two options. That year, I was adding them in to a classroom full of desks. You could have everyone else sit at carpet seats if you have no desks. If that won't work for you, scroll down for an in between option!
How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips !
A Few Options at a Time 
Sharing a few options at a time is another way to go, too!  You could bring out 2-3 options, have the rest of students at desks or carpet seats, make sure you go over guidelines in details, and then after a day or two, introduce another option or two (this actually reminds me of how I roll out classroom jobs several at a time over the course of the first week of school).
How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips !
What is your favorite way of introducing flexible seating options to your class? Let me know in the comments? And if you want to see some of my students focus and comfortable in some flexible seating, check out the images below!

      How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips !


How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips ! How to introduce flexible seating - ideas and tips !


Scoop rockers on a rug with title How to introduce flexible seating

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    Tips for Teaching Writing

    Image of pencils on wood background and label Tips for Teaching Writing
    Isn't teaching writing so tough? Personally, I always find it the most challenging subject to teach. I have been to professional development and found resources with online videos and books that helped me, so I wanted to share with you!

    Texts for Students and Teachers

    First, I highly recommend helping your students get invested in learning about writing with books made for children. I love the Katie Woo Series, Arthur Writes a Story, and several more.

    Also, I find books for teachers to be very helpful. Some of my favorites are:
    Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins
    How's it Going? by Carl Anderson
    The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Seravello

    Picture Prompts

    Use Funny or silly picture prompts to inspire students! You can use silly pictures from the internet or, if you want it all done, explained, and ready for you, check out Hojo's Teaching Adventures blog post here

    Anchor Charts 

    So helpful! We are Teachers have collected and shared tons of ideas!  

    What Works Clearinghouse Tips

    Steve Graham from What Works Clearinghouse (U.S. Department of Education) has shared some really helpful tips.

    Provide Daily Time to Write

    • The important, but often overlooks daily writing time - Even 5-10 minutes of free writing, or working on in progress work is great!

    Teach the Writing Process


    • Teach by modeling the steps of the writing process and be sure to display a visual or visuals for students in your space.
    • Also use the gradual release of responsibility to help the students.
    • Support Students in choosing and using appropriate writing strategies.

    Teach Students to Write for a Variety of Purposes


    • Help them expand their idea of audience. Some students write just for themselves or you, but have them write letters to their principal or consider writing with younger book buddies in mind, or local politician or the world at large!
    • Help your students understand difference reasons and purposes for writing.
    • Teach students to use models (ie mentor texts, peer exemplars) to learn from.

    Create an Engaged Writing Community in your Classroom


    • Support student collaboration.
    • Help students learn how to give appropriate peer feedback. I love the peer editing checklists from Keys to Writing.
    • Share your own writing with your class!
    • Provide choices for students as far as to topics and assignments!

    Writing Prompts (Including a Freebie!)

    Finally, I also have some ready to go writing prompts that would help you and your students. I used them weekly with second graders. There is a freebie you could try out, and your could look for other prompt collections in my store, or you could save money, time, and grab the full year, 229 page bundle here! You can also join the RWR Insiders Club (free to join) for a 15 page writing prompts freebie! Join up here. Click on the images below to take a look at them!



    Feel free to let me know your favorite tip for teaching writing in the comments!
    Also check out any of the books I have mentioned by clicking on their covers below to see them at Amazon.

                                        


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    Image of pencils on wood table with label Tips for Teaching Writing

     
    pencil ready to write and RWR Insiders Club link to get freebies



    The Hat by Jan Brett - Book Review





    Do you know the Book The Hat was published just in 1997? It feels like I have known and loved this book forever! Today, I thought I would stop by with a short review of the book and some suggestions for The Hat themed activities for your classroom!

    Other wonderful Jan Brett books you could share with your class in a Jan Brett author study! You cannot go wrong with any choices.  Click on any to learn more!
     
     


    Review
    First, where did the idea come from? Jan Brett is quoted as saying in a  Scholastic interview: "Sometimes I get ideas from childhood. In The Hat, Hedgie starts getting teased about his hat, and he just pretends that everything is okay. That’s the advice that my mother gave me — not to get mad and pretend that everything is okay. And it worked". Also in the Youtube video shown above, she mentions,  "The Hat I made up myself when our hedgehog got stuck in a sock... A hedgehog is covered in prickles. And when she crawled in , her prickles got stuck on the wool and she couldn't crawl back out again". In the book, filled with beautiful, Scandinavian-themed illustrations, a young girl unpacks her winter wool clothing and hangs them on a line. Hedgie comes along, puts his head in a stocking that had fallen onto the ground, and can't get the sock off. Each animal he sees asks him about the sock and teases him, but Hedgie stays proud, The young girl watches from the window, and eventually runs out to help him take the "hat" off. The book has beautiful large illustrations on each page with window frames on the borders of each page showing what else is happening and giving the reader sneak peeks into what is coming up.

    Activities
    Did you know Jan Brett herself has tons of free ideas and activities for her books on janbrett.com? Here is a page just for The Hat! She also has suggestions for turning The Hat into a play, including a free script here.

    Painted hedgehog rock crafts are available on easypeasyandfun.com!

    No Time for Flashcards has several free ideas for crafts and free printables.

    Scholastic has a full lesson plan available if you would like to check it out here.

    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mentor-Text-Unit-for-The-Hat-2315398

    The Hat Mentor Text Resources
    If you're wondering... Mentor texts are texts that can be used for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, and are used as an example of terrific writing for students.

    It includes:

    • 3-4 days of activities
    • Determining background knowledge
    • Word splash
    • Thinking through the text
    • Choosing wonderful words
    • Character dialogue activities
    • Cause and Effect
    • Putting Story events in order
    • Brainstorm
    • Reader Response Questions
     Here are some images with sneak peeks at those activities!







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