Flexible Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Sep 5, 2016 by

Flexible Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Once in a while, you take a leap of faith that ends up paying off in a most spectacular way.

This summer, I decided to completely change up my classroom-I went from tables to flex seating, a patriotic theme to a white-with-pops-of-color theme and a philosophy of creationism. I gave myself 4 weeks to make it happen.

You can check out this post to see my classroom ‘before’ pictures. Basically everything was red, white and blue. I had large tables I dug up from a variety of district storerooms and painted them with whiteboard paint. It was lovely, but I was ready for a change.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Enter: flex seating and WHITE. I wanted everything in this room to be white, with surprising pops of colors. I wanted to be able to do theme units with the kiddos and bring in specific decorations for those projects, and I didn’t want them getting lost in the clutter of a permanent theme. I was inspired by the amazing Melanie at Schoolgirl Style who did a gorgeous watercolor theme in her classroom. I studied her pictures and placed a rather sizable order to try and recreate her look-definitely check it out!! To see all the different seating options I used, check out this post.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I kept one of my large whiteboard tables, as I wanted to make sure I had enough space for kiddos who wanted a solid workspace. This table seats five students. I was given 2 Pottery Barn ‘Anywhere’ chairs, I grabbed an arm pillow from Costco, I repainted a gifted stool and I found this little teal Ikea stool in the lounge give-away pile!

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I found a raised ‘bar’ table on Craigslist for $50 in very bad shape, so I painted it white and added a whiteboard top. I spray painted the chairs bright colors and it’s become my principal’s favorite place to sit in the room. I found these three arm chairs from a local thrift shop that I stalked all summer-they became pretty darn clean with several runs of the carpet cleaner. I painted a few Goodwill side tables with white spray paint and gave them whiteboard tops. I lifted a double desk and a single desk up on bed risers to make standing desks and I added various stools I found at thrift shops in case students wanted to sit down instead of standing all day.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

 

My amazing friend made me this lamp on her Silhouette Cameo-the saying is only visible when the lamp is turned on!

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

You can grab an empty lightbulb from Micheals in their floral section and a plasma ball here!

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I totally splurged on the drafting table-I sold my bunny hutch to help offset the cost. I gave it a whiteboard top and found a few free chairs to put by it. I lowered one of my whiteboard tables to make the whiteboard coffee table, and I got the wood/marble table from a thrift shop. A friend gifted me the glider and I realized a wooden stool from from my house was actually super comfortable to sit on after using it at a garage sale this summer, so I brought that in as well! You can kind of see my basket of yoga mats sticking out from behind the drafting table-I found 5 matching ones on Craigslist for $5/each after a yoga teacher decided to clean out her stash.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I grabbed 2 ‘disk’ chairs from Walmart and was given a 3rd by a fellow teacher. I had the palm tree and pillows in my garage sale this summer until I couldn’t stand it any longer and grabbed them out to stick in the room. I love turning the room lights off and turning on the palm tree twinkle lights along with the table lamps-it’s magical! I put a sand-colored rug under the beach chair and it feels very cozy and tropical in that corner. 😉

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

The front of my room looks so cluttered in this picture, but that’s beginning of the year stashing. I have a set of mailboxes on the left, and ‘Genius Hour’ cubbies on the right for students to keep their supplies in. Without desks, we have to find various places to keep our notebooks and supplies, and this is a great place for larger GH items. I also have a horizontal file cabinet that a friend’s office was getting rid of that I keep our portfolios in.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I created watercolor-theme agenda strips to replace the patriotic ones. I found a black whiteboard/corkboard set at Goodwill to stick my phone list and other notes-I love how it makes this area much more finished-it’s had an ugly school-issued bulletin board under it for years.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I totally re-worked my entrance board. I put up my ‘dream and grow’ display after Micheals put all their letters on clearance this summer. I just HAD to use them and this is what I came up after piecing together what was left in the bins. I decided to put up a Moon in My Room to show the phase of the moon for that day/night, as we study astronomy in science. I also got a light-up white board from a friend’s garage sale and write different quotes on it each week. Above everything is my US History timeline that we add to throughout the year as we learn about different events in American history!

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I kept my cupcake supply stand from my previous room theme. I figured the red silicone cupcake holders worked fine, although I might suggest a brighter color set of cupcake liners. I keep these filled with pencil cap erasers, paper clips, pushpins, etc. They sit next to our sharp/dull containers (I spray painted my red ceramic flower pots black for this year) and our paper trays.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I’ve had this HUGE gold frame on my wall for 3 years now and never known what to put in it. Last spring I came up with the idea to make a Room 10 ‘Family Tree’. Every year my students will put their thumbmark on the tree and I’ll write their names next to their thumbprint. I hosted an Alumni Ice Cream Party  last May and many of my previous students had the chance to add their fingerprints as well. My hope is that over the years the tree will growGrOwGROW! I also covered the bulletin board area here with a large sheet of whiteboard (showerboard from Home Depot) so we would have some more writing space.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I hung buckets of whiteboard markers next to the board so students can quickly use them when brainstorming.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I got rid of all my book baskets except for my ‘famous author’ shelf. My husband convinced me that the kiddos would be more interested in the books if they were spine-out, so we’re trying it this year. I spray painted the 20 baskets I kept with black spray paint-it worked surprisingly well. I got the READ letters on clearance at Micheals. Aaaaand I convinced my husband to sledge hammer out the cabinet that was here so I could regain the space and put up this super cute supply pegboard. I got all the buckets in the Target Dollar Spot and will maybe one day label them with my Silhouette Cameo.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I got the inspired idea to have a Library Event Calendar from 4th Grade Frolics, and we keep our notebooks on this shelf as we have no desks. The students are divided into different color groups for easier management (‘I need the blue group to line up’, etc.), so the kiddos will have colored tape on the spines of the their notebooks that match their color group-this makes it faster to find their notebooks. The baskets contain glue sticks, scissors, post-its and whiteboard erasers (these do not fit easily into buckets).

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I decided that since my room FELT like a Starbucks, maybe you should be able to sip a drink like in a Starbucks as well. I added a refreshment center where kiddos can make a hot cup of tea or grab some water if they forget their waterbottle. It took about a week for them to get the hang of it without taking advantage of it, and now it’s a natural part of our room-they know they can only use it during transition times and that they need to clean up after themselves (dishes is one of our classroom jobs).

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

As I stated earlier, I got rid of my book baskets this year. I also got rid of 2 large bookshelves to make room for furniture, so there was a lot of organizing and consolidating of books this summer. I made new watercolor book labels and taped them directly onto the shelves by the types of books they were referring to.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

One of the areas in Melanie’s beautiful classroom that I admired most was her gorgeous white hutch. I happened to have two brown bookshelves in my room that added to the distinguished look of a patriotic room, but would look very similar to hers if painted white. These shelves took 12 cans of spray paint, I added 4 new glass knobs and I found out that they had working lights already installed! I wanted to make sure I could appreciate their beauty, so I took off all the resource books that use to be on them and tried to keep at least one simple.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

This was the only bulletin board that I strayed from my white/pops of color theme on. I saw the lightbulb border and knew I had to have it, so I bought it without a plan. Then I went to Ikea and found this delicious light bulb! I hung it up over the board using a hanging-plant hook. Under it is a small table I saw on the side of the road (spray painted it white, of course), with yoga mats/whiteboards/clipboards on top and board games underneath. (Here is an Edison light bulb from Amazon if you don’t have an Ikea near you.)

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I kept telling myself to simply the room and clutter when I ‘remodeled’, but somehow there is almost MORE stuff on the walls. I hung up my brain inspired by Venspired, my Space Camp outfit and my grandfather’s WWII Navy uniform. All too important to get rid of.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

This board has shower towel racks to hang anchor charts from. The marquee light board was on clearance at Micheals for $10-I painted it orange from it’s original red and I LOVE it. I have no idea what to put on it, though. The whiteboard was a steal at Goodwill for $3, and I thought small groups might want to use it. I found the bike pedal at the Goodwill as well for about $5. The kiddos really like to use it while they work.

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

I have had this beaker FOREVER, thinking I would use it in a science mobile. But our school has outlawed air fresheners and I wanted to bring in a little bit of natural lavender to help freshen up the room, so I decided to turn it into a vase. I swirled some paint inside to look like a chemical solution, let it dry and added the lavender. This jar has held many themed items over the years, but I was at a loss of what to put in it for this room. Then I remembered I had grabbed a ton of fabric Gerber daisies from Micheals on clearance (of course), so I popped the blooms off and layered them!

Flex Seating/Watercolor Room Reveal! {2016-17}

This room has inspired my teaching this year in so many ways, and my students just love it. I was worried about parent reaction, but every single person who has walked through my door has said nothing but positive things about the layout. I highly encourage you to think about flexible seating in your classroom, and please feel free to ask questions or share your links in the comment section! If you do decided to go with a flexible seating arrangement, use this letter to introduce the concept with your classroom parents!

-Kat

**This post contains Amazon Affiliate links to help you find the items I’m referring to at the best price. I hope it helps you design your room within your budget!

 

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Flexible Seating- Parent Letter - Sprout Classrooms - […] I decided to move the classroom to a flexible seating model, I thought through every aspect of the decision.…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *