Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A semester is done, and inevitably change has occurred.  The thoughts, ideas, and organization of August have slipped into something new.  Does this happen to you?  Each year, it does to me.
In just the last couple of weeks I've instituted two major changes:  YOGA BALLS and TABLES.

Writers Workshop time
YOGA BALLS - I've been reading about their uses in classrooms for at least five years.  I've even said to more than one parent:  If you purchase a yoga ball for your child, I'll let them sit on it.  No one has ever taken me up on that.  So, two weeks before Christmas, I tell my class:  Let's get yoga balls, instead of buying me a gift, buy a gift for the classroom.  So far, we have 18 balls. Several were donated by our gym teacher, principal, and myself.  The rest were brought in by students.  I've set up a rotation, and everyone gets to sit on a yoga ball at least half the day!

TABLES - I've been wanting tables instead of desks for awhile.  They're a hot commodity in my building.  Several of us have told our principal that in the future, we'd like to move to tables.  She's receptive and open to it.  So, I approach her before break about making the switch now.   I'm known as an honest (ok, maybe blunt is the right word) and if I try tables out, teachers will know I will give all the pros and cons.  One 2/3 High Ability teacher is using them with success.  All the Kindergarten teachers have them and love them.
My principal said IF I could find the tables and convince the custodial staff to store my desks to go ahead!  Well, I literally had to beg, borrow, and steal (okay, not steal, but coercion was used) to find six tables, enough for all 24 of my students.  Then, I had to literally make my case to the custodian.  She originally said no.  Then we talked, toured the storage space and came up with a deal.   She could store some of the desks - I'd have to find a place for some of them. (By the way, I used my computer table as a classroom table, then put the six laptops on their own desk!)
Then Friday afternoon before break the students cleaned out their desks, and put everything in their cubby.  (I have cabinets in my room, with small cubbies that books can fit into.)  Then , I partnered everyone up.  Each pair will share a crate that will be kept at their table.  It will have their practice books, math books, folders, dry erase boards, and other essential items.  Each student will also keep their pencil box at their table. 
I'm optimistic about the change, although there are a few worries.  What if some don't deal well with such a shared space as a table?  I figure if need be I can always grab a desk or two back.

If there wasn't a winter storm advisory in my area, I'd post pictures of my new tables.  Alas, I'm staying put at home and enjoying the quiet at home with my kids.

Other changes are on the way too:  I'm working on my National Board Certification (Generalist - Middle Childhood) and I haven't started my entries yet.  I'm still planning.  In fact, I should be planning now, but will get to that soon.  I'm looking forward to tackling that challenge.  I've also committed to blogging every Wednesday - as a challenge with my school's Instructional Coach.  We've promised to push each other.  So, with change comes more writing for me!

I wish all of you a happy break!


  1. Change is in the air! As far as tables go, at least yours are rectangular, that makes them better than the trapezoid tables at my school. I do have a few desks, because sometimes my 5th graders drive each other crazy, and they need a break from each other. Have a good start to your next semester!


  2. Thanks Emily! I actually have 2 circle tables and 4 rectangle tables. The circle tables were the hard ones to get! :)