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Are you looking for ways to focus on growth mindset in your classroom? Check out this post for ideas on setting up your room with a growth mindset vibe.

Welcome to my Lower Mountain Teachings classroom! As I sit here thinking about what my classroom may or may not look like this fall of 2020, all I can say is, "I have absolutely no idea!"  I am sure many of you feel the same during this time.  Not knowing what this year will look like, I'd like to share a little about what and how may classroom has evolved.

When I first started teaching, I had tables in my classroom for the students.  No desks for my classroom!  I wanted to see lots of collaboration and felt that desks were a great start to that!  Now with students sitting at tables this brought the question of where do they store all their daily items needed for learning?  At that time we used crates.  Yes those ugly looking plastic crates.  Each crate was shared by two students.  In a way it was good because it taught my students to be tidy (well most of them) and be respectful of the other person's things.

I don't exactly remember when I changed from the tables to desks, but I did.  I honestly think it was when a colleague who was moving grade levels left and he had wonderful brand new desks in his room.  They were like a shiny object and I couldn't resist them.  I got rid of the tables for those shiny desks.  And don't go blaming me, you all know that when a teacher on your hall leaves, the teachers left always scarf up the best from that room.  I am sorry to admit this, but it seems to be the way, and well.... as I said, I couldn't resist. So I had desk for many years.

In that time I learned how some students need to stand, kneel on their chair, or even fidget in order to do their best work and stay focused.  Then came the Flexible Seating movement.  I am not sure why I call it a movement, but it seems to be a big focus in education lately.

So what did I do??  Many hours of asking for donations on Donors Choose for flexible seating options for my classroom.  New wobble stools, ball chairs, standing desks, and yes tables.  I ended up with a fully flexible seating classroom!  We were back to where do my students keep their things again. We came up with a system and it worked.  I was in love! and I had this for a few years.

THAT IS UNTIL THIS PAST YEAR!  What I have learned is that a classroom with flexible seating is NOT for all students.  Not all students actually perform better in this type of setting.  My students this past year actually did not like the flexible seating at all and they flat out voted to have desks! They did not like having their items in drawers and they did not like sharing space at the tables.  They wanted their own space and their own place right there where they sat to keep all their stuff in.  So back to desks it was!  

What have I learned?  Obviously our students learn differently, but they also learn differently given the physical space they are in.  From now on I will always take this into account when setting up for the year.  I want to make sure I hit all learners.  I just need to make sure I am very giving to the custodial staff, because they don't love it when I suddenly ask for more or less furniture in my classroom!



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