There’s a lot of talk about how we must innovate our classrooms with new furniture, replacing desks with tables or adding bean bags for example. However, without the budget to buy new furniture, it makes this difficult. So why not just start with something simple that won’t cost anything?
Just start the year with less chairs than the number of children you have. Sounds a bit odd right? What it does is force the children to find a space they like for themselves. Discuss this with them. Talk about learning spaces, who to sit beside, whether they like to stand, sit, lie down, or any other strange position they might put themselves in.
This may cause you issues with where they put their things like stationary. Be creative. I’ve seen some teachers uses shelving at the edge of their class, share desks with two students, or bring in a tote tray. I still like the idea of the children looking after their own stationary as it teachers them to be self sufficient, but you may decide to take in the books yourself or have them in boxes.
So let's declutter! Take out some chairs and have the children begin to experience what an innovative environment is like.