Tag Archives: classroom

The Power of Flexible Seating


Some may have some doubts or concerns when they see a set of ‘bouncy balls’ in a classroom, which is quite understandable.  However, I saw it as a chance to enhance not only the furniture and overall look of the space, but also to further student engagement in all aspects of study during my lessons.

This week, provided my first chance to test this all out.  Along with the colorful, bouncy balls, I also provided area mats, floor pillows, and a small ‘cafe’ table.  Upon entering the library media center, the students’ enthusiasm and excitement were visible instantly.  There was a lot of celebration and questions, and they were all very eager to try out all these new things.  But, there was a catch…

They had to earn it.

I took the opportunity of it being the first days of school to test the waters with all of my classes.  I had them sit on their ‘old,’ regular tables and chairs for the majority of the class.  I explained to them that if their behavior was great during the first half of class, I would allow some free reading time in a seat of their choice.  Most of my classes took the challenge head-on.  They wanted to get to move around and try out new things.  Their maturity and dedication was rewarded, and they were able to choose their seats at the end of class.

As seen in the photo above, the end result was amazing.  It took them a couple minutes to get settled and find balance, but after a quick ‘tutorial’ on how to sit on them without slipping or falling, the students were loving it!  They found the happy medium of light bouncing or rolling while reading their books.  It made my heart smile watching the risk pay off.  Instead of trying to talk, making noise, and interrupting their peers, my students focused their energy into their new seats.

Flexible seating will work.  It just takes some patience.


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Facebook Turns Ten Today!

Facebook Turns Ten Today!

For those of us that do remember the early days of “The Facebook,” realizing that one of the top-dogs of social media is turning ten years old today is rather startling.
Facebook has revolutionized how we share our lives with people–in one of the most widespread modes possible. Even more so, Facebook has linked to companies advertising and other social media forums (like Instagram).
For those of you that are a bit more privacy-conscious, it is a bit scary to think how everything you do online can be tracked by social media. It makes for quite a tightrope to walk in terms of what you’d like out there in the public and what you want to keep to yourself.
You may be asking how this applies to my blog as an educator and librarian. I think that the way the new generations communicate relies heavily on social media. They are constantly posting and sharing and taking pictures to immediately upload onto Instagram. And, because we are bequeathing our knowledge onto these younger generations, it may be wise to consider how social media can play into all of this.
I, myself, have opened up a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for my school library, and I also share this blog on the library’s webpage. I am trying to take the ancient idea of a library (at least in the minds of some teens) and make it relevant in their every day lives.
I think it could be quite useful to use social media in various ways in daily lessons or assessments to add a fun twist to the curriculum. When I was working as an English teacher, I had my students create Instagram accounts for various characters after reading Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. After reading a piece of literature that is hundreds of years old, it was fun to see the 21st century adaptations my students had to offer. The end products were spectacular and I was proud to see their literacy shine through an outlet with which they were familiar.
So I challenge my fellow educators to take the plunge, and see how social media can play a role in your everyday classes. If Facebook is any indication, social media is here to stay–and it would be best if we accept it with open arms.

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February 4, 2014 · 8:54 am