Category Archives: Style

Flexible Seating: A Reflection in Practices

8th January 2018

I have decided to start my reflection on my trial run of flexible seating with an analogy.

I have never wanted a tattoo, not because I have anything against them necessarily, I mean I have plenty of friends and family that have adorable and meaningful tattoos. I personally never wanted one because I knew that it was an expensive FOREVER investment. I just like change too much. I change my hair style, color, and cut every two to three years, I change around rooms of my own home very often (thanks hubs for all the help), and in my classroom I rotate out student work on the walls, I put up and take down holiday decorations, and I change the seating arrangements on a VERY consistent basis.

So, for me, flexible seating has been difficult for me to come to terms with – it is an investment in something pretty permanent. That THIS is how my classroom looks all the time and I can’t rearrange the furniture as easily as I could with individual desks. Now, that being said, I still really like it, but I have a feeling that I will need to add to it or take away from it often to fulfill my own personal need for change.

Unlike the tattoo, however, I can make some slight changes and adjustments which is nice. Here is what I am changing going into second semester in terms of flexible seating: 

  • Instead of students choosing a working spot for their team on a first come, first serve basis, I am going to be rotating each team through each working spot so that each team gets the opportunity to work in a variety of spots. Even though I had the rule of only one spot per week, since there are 8 spots and only 5 days in the week, some teams were just never getting the “cool” spots. I am going to rotate the table numbers that I made using the IKEA standing frames at the end of each school day. 

  • Sit-on-the-floor-on-cute-pillows-working-spot?…she gone. You can see the table and pillows in the photo at the top of this post and in the below picture you will see it has been REPLACED. The younger students (eehhh, my Freshmen) couldn’t handle it. It became the try-and-lay-down-and-sleep-on-the-floor-table and I am just NOT okay with that. No matter how many times I reminded, scolded, or just plain yelled, “SIT UP PEOPLE!”, they couldn’t manage proper seating or posture in this working spot and so it had to go. It has been replaced with a round table with four chairs. 

  • The chairs at the back bar table used to have wheels and have been replaced with regular four legged chairs. I had many wheels falling off or breaking and it wasn’t worth the upkeep at this point for me. I am going to look for some of those bands that go around the chair legs as an alternative for slight rolling for some of my students who have the need to fidget and are missing the rolling chairs. 

  • I was lucky enough to stumble upon these amazing coffee house chairs on Offer Up that a local senior living center was selling (for $10 a chair!!! And if they would have had more I would have bought more). These chairs are amazing and if you find anything like this I highly recommend them for your classroom. This has become such a favorite spot in my classroom – I mean my own teacher-PLC works here! 

Some other considerations and observations that I am going to make over the next semester are: 1) which working spot do the students work best at? and 2) where do I see a need to improve a working spot or location of the spot in the classroom? and 3) what other spots could I create that aren’t too distracting for the students in order to keep it fresh?

Overall, flexible seating has been challenging for me, mainly because it is a pretty permanent fixture in my classroom space (so if you hate change and like to leave things alone, this may be a great way to go for you). Please comment with any questions or suggestions on flexible seating for high school students, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts! Hope everyone is off to a great start for second semester and Happy New Year!

Flexible Seating: A Trial Run

19th October 2017

Happy October!

Well gang, I made the transition over fall break to a flexible seating arrangement for my Honors Sophomore and Freshmen English classes. I am unsure if it will be successful or I will even like it but with all the research, hype, and beautiful pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, I wanted to give it a go and shake up my teaching practices at this point in my educational career.

What is flexible seating?

A classroom with flexible seating looks different from a traditional classroom that only uses desks and chairs. Items such as pillows, stools, standing tables, lowered tables, etc. are used to allow students to have options for where their teams sits that class period in order for their team to have the best working environment for learning. The goal of flexible seating is to give students choice and create a more collaborative culture for the 21st century learner.

How will flexible seating be introduced?

At the beginning of second quarter, I reviewed the expectations for the students and the different seating options. I spent time teaching them what the learning should look like when they are using the seats correctly and how to best take care of them. I rotated the teams through each working spot (for about a week) to give them an opportunity to experience the different options in our classroom before they begin to choose their own spots for their team.

What makes it flexible?

There are many different options for seating, but you will notice that all options still allow for a work space for students. Almost all of the seating choices are still placed at tables and individual desks are still available for any student that shows me they need a bit more structure (or less choice).

I have researched the benefits: it empowers students, increases student engagement, and prepares them for real-world working environments. If all goes well this year, I may look at balance ball chair options or even bean bag chairs! CRAZY!

How will it work with the Bingold Cup Teams?

It took some thought into how I would keep my classroom teams (click link above for information on my team challenges) into the equation of this new seating.

I decided that the students will have choice but fairness.

Each day a team member will pick up their team’s number by the door (from the stand pictured below) and will “claim their working spot” for that class period. However, once that team chooses that spot, they must choose a different spot the rest of the week.

Therefore they can only use the “couch spot” once a week, the “floor spot” once a week, etc. The students seemed to think this was a fair way to do it and that their team could be in a totally different working spot each day of the week which they liked but also they are still working all quarter as a team on group work and team challenges and there is comfort and familiarity there. 

So far the students love it, but it has only been a few days and we haven’t gotten into the “meat” of the curriculum for quarter two yet. I love it in theory, but I am so nervous about how it will go in actual practice and if it will truly help my kids be more collaborative and successful or if it will be just a pretty classroom arrangement.

I will keep the blog updated on how this shift is going in my classroom. 

Wish me luck!



Hi Neighbor!

2nd November 2015

Happy Halloween!

Our little Daniel Tiger and her “neighbors”.

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Photo Nov 01, 7 28 08 AM Photo Oct 30, 6 48 32 PM Photo Oct 31, 7 08 43 PM Photo Oct 31, 4 48 01 PM Photo Oct 31, 4 46 18 PM  Halloween – Teacher Style

Photo Oct 30, 5 59 32 AM

Meeting Mary Poppins at the Hale Theater with Nana!

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Photo Oct 31, 1 42 30 PM

It was a busy and fun Halloween! Hope you had a safe and sweet kickoff to the holiday season! XO. Brit

My Big Girl

1st July 2015

I can’t believe the binkie is gone. I can’t believe she is in a twin bed. I can’t believe that in Target the other day, when I said “stay by mama”, she said “I’m okay, I’m a big girl now Mama” (this big girl thing is probably going to come back to bite me). Q is turning 3 in less than 3 months. WHAT?!?!

We moved Q into Chase’s old “man-cave”/office for her new room. She picked the color blue (which apparently is her favorite at the moment) and I went with it. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

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  • Furniture: from my in-laws from a garage sale (I did spray paint the nobs gold to match the decals) thanks guys!
  • Bedding: Quilt and large back pillow from Stein Mart and sheets and other pillows from Target (of course).
  • Gold dot decals: Urban Walls (follow their Instagram – it has great ideas for decor, especially kid rooms).
  • Dream-catcher: made-it myself (thank you Mom for making/helping me do it) but you can find similar ones on Etsy for sure.
  • Photos frames: Hobby Lobby!

Still working on potty training…Lord help us!

XO. Brit

Good Vibes Only

11th May 2015

Just had to do a shout out to Mulberry Press Co for making the best t-shirts! I have three of their shirts, “Good Vibes Only,” “Huslin’ Mama,” and “Give Thanks” and I wear at least one every weekend. They are super soft and stylish and I love that they are little longer in the torso!

I had to go to an eight hour long district training this past Saturday and wanted to have “good vibes” about it so I put on this shirt. Everyone at my training table smiled and said “yep!” and it just put me and everyone else in a good mood. If you haven’t looked at their site you are missing out!

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XO. Brit

Styled By

20th March 2015

Shopping is very therapeutic to me and I really love new clothes (I mean, who doesn’t?); but, I have found that it is much harder to really shop with Q running around trying to play “Hide” down the aisles.

Thus, most of my pieces are styled by Target because it is convenient when I am already there getting groceries and pull-ups and whatever else I need that week. I love Target’s clothes and shoes, they really do help me keep my wardrobe and Q’s wardrobe up to date but sometimes it just isn’t enough, especially in the “teacher work clothes” need of my closet.

So, I decided to try an online personal stylist called Stitch Fix. I was a little apprehensive at first but I got my first “fix” yesterday and I really enjoyed getting the package, trying on the clothes, and figuring out what I wanted to keep or send back. I ended up keeping a top and some jeans (JEANS ARE MY KRYPTONITE).

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I am using Stitch Fix mainly for work tops because that is what I have the most trouble finding at stores. I have a “fix” coming every other month but you can choose to have it every other week or every month, etc. I do not need it that often but  I think it will be a great way to get some pieces that are personalized to my needs and style preferences shipped to my door (no more keeping Q occupied in a department store fitting room). I also like that if I don’t like the pieces I can send them back right away in a pre-paid package that they send to me with the clothes – so simple. And, I have to say that getting that package is very exciting, like Christmas morning for 20-something-female-adults.

As an added bonus, my personal stylist, Emily, sent with the clothes this little pamphlet that had the pieces she sent with ideas of how to style them with pieces I might have in my closet already (which I thought was very helpful and looked Pinterest worthy)!

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If you are having trouble getting to the stores to shop or just want a variety of different clothes and jewelry to chose from, begin a personal profile here and check it out – it really has been a fun experiment for me so far!

Happy Shopping and WEEKEND!

XO. Brit