First of all I had dreamed of not only being a teacher but being a KINDERGARTEN teacher. I only taught second grade one year and have been blessed to be in Kindergarten ever since.
Secondly, I've had some amazing students and parents that I have been so fortunate to work with.
But thirdly.....I had the most unbelievable room!
It was HUGE.
Not only was it huge....but it had charm. High ceilings, wood trim and moldings painted red, storage and an entire wall of windows that went up to the ceiling.
However, this was the days before projectors, smart boards or even white boards. =) The actual blackboards (well some were green too) in my room were not even usable.
Yes...this was right before the blackboard paint came out too. =)
Once the first school year in this classroom began I soon realized that my approach to seating was going to have to be creative. The room was a very long rectangle shape and since none of the blackboards were usable I covered them up with paper and used them as display space. At one end of this huge rectangle I created a math meeting space (carpet area) for calendar and various other math activities. My husband built a huge easel that included a dry erase board. At the other end of the rectangle we had another carpet area and another large dry erase easel for literacy activities. Everything that was taught whole group was taught from one of the two carpet areas. My tables were spread out across the room and incorporated into centers. Once an activity was introduced from one of the carpet areas and the whole class needed to be seated at a table at the same time it was really NOT a big deal. Each student just chose a spot and got to work.
Well...fast forward a few years and it was time to say goodbye to the old building. =( In it's place we did get an amazingly beautiful new facility! This time complete with whiteboards, projectors and smart boards. I've been in this new room for a while now but figuring out seating has always been and issue for me here. I LOVED not assigning seats! I liked to observe the choices the children made each day about who they would work with or socialize with. I feel it helped them in many ways to learn from each other. At some point within my new space I decided I needed to start assigning seats.
I have no idea why.
Maybe I just had a difficult time at first arranging a square shaped room? =)
This year I decided that after the first few weeks of the school year I wanted to give not assigning seats another try. I did want to begin the year with assigned seats since this is what I've become used to and it also gives me a chance to put names with faces early in the year if they are assigned to one spot.
Yesterday was the big day! We gave it a try! It was amazing!
No running to pick a seat.
Everyone was engaged and working.
It was calm. Well okay as calm as a Kindergarten room can be.
We did meet and discussed the situation first. Everyone was very excited to give this a try. I still have two carpet areas in my room to this day. One for literacy and one for math. I still give most of my whole group instruction from one of these two carpet areas.
Our Literacy Carpet Area
Our Math Carpet Area
writing tubs and the kids can just grab theirs before going to a spot if we are working on writing.
So now after two days without assigned seats I am hooked once more. Here's a link to my classroom set up from before school started. I've moved some things around since then ( I LOVE to move my furniture around) but you'll get the general picture. You'll also see my beginning of the year name tags! Once we dive further into our writing workshop time I can't wait to see the stories that will develop and who will create projects with each other.
I'm just curious how many of you assign seats???