Over the summer, I had the pleasure and privilege of leading professional development workshops for teachers in my school district as well as other school districts across our country. These workshops were about the benefits of personalized learning and how to implement it in a 21st century classroom. After leading my sessions and talking about how we “do school” in my non-traditional classroom, I got several requests for visits to my classroom and questions about scheduling a time to come observe my students and I in this non-traditional environment. Among all the amazing educators I met, the learning shared and memories made, one question was asked of me, – repeatedly.
“So what does your deskless classroom look like and how do you set it up?”
In the meantime, before visits begin – take a look at the photos below for an inside look at my deskless classroom.
I have traded in my chairs for exercise balls and pillows. Students have gamer chairs, cushions, crate seats and comfy pillows to sit on around the room. They write on lap desks and clipboards. Lastly, they hang their book bags on the wall, and store math and science notebooks inside of their personal magazine box located in a bookshelf on the left side of the room.
It is exciting to see changes that have been made from last school year to now. For example, last school year, I noticed flexible seating in various classrooms, here, and there – but it wasn’t very consistent. However, this school year – I noticed that a LOT of classrooms in my school have made huge efforts to increase the amount of flexible seating for their students, and one teacher (@) has taken the initiative to go completely deskless with me! Some teachers have even modified in the way of using tables instead of desks, or even using a half desk, half flexible seating model for their students. A teacher at my school (@) took the initiative to create a half-deskless classroom. I am thoroughly impressed with what she did! Take a look!
I mean – I would want to learn here, right along with the students! This is what it is all about! When designing your classroom, you have to ask yourself
Would I like to be a learner in my own classroom?
If not, some changes need to be made.
Whether it be due to testing, or organizational procedural preferences, deskless isn’t necessarily for everyone. HOWEVER – small changes can be made. Increase flexible seating options, use tables with exercise balls for seats instead of hard plastic chairs – possibilities are endless! It truly helps children make good choices and allows them to make responsible decisions about their education. View my last blog post Going Deskless…Again for more stats and facts about increased student learning in this type of environment! For a look at last year’s deskless classroom, click here!
I teach the way I teach and set up my room this way because its good for kids. WE are thoroughly ready and excited for this school year!
If you have any questions about going deskless, please comment below or reach out to me through twitter or email!