One thing I appreciate about my school is that we can make changes for our scholars and teachers when we need to. During my first year at Aurora Collegiate, we had 202 total students enrolled and 50 of those scholars were in second and third grade. Based on my experiences with my own daughter, I knew these two grades would be more challenging than others. I like to think of these as “transition years.” Second graders are being pushed to read to learn and third graders are gearing up for state testing. Sure enough, second and third graders were our heavy hitters, but we all finished the year strong and 90% of those scholars returned to us again this year.
Last year, the problem we discovered was that our second grade scholars were getting burnt out and lost motivation by the end of the day and we couldn’t have that another year. Our first year language arts teacher, Miss K, came up with a solution to use flexible seating for language arts and maintain a traditional classroom seating arrangement for our math class. Flexible seating involves giving scholars a choice in what type of seating works best for them to learn, think critically and work collaboratively with others.
So this year, we have our dynamic second grade team back, but with a new tool for teaching – student-centered flexible seating. We call it ACA Flex! Our second grade scholars have been more engaged, more focused and happier during learning. I think it has helped Miss K, too! Now, she knows that we trust in her, that we are open to new ideas and we will support her in implementing these ideas.