I could tell that the kids were enjoying my classroom, but I wanted some trend data, so I conducted a simple survey. I asked my homeroom students few questions after they had experienced seven full days in my classroom.
My first questions was asking the students to pick their preferences out of the following list:
laying on the floor
sitting on the floor
sitting at a desk or table
sitting in a comfy chair
The results were surprisingly well balanced. Each child got to choose two options. Laying on the floor got the highest with 14 votes followed by sitting in a comfy chair with 13. Both sitting on the floor and standing had 9 votes. I expected sitting at a desk or table to be low and I only had 3 kids choose it, however, throughout the day there are always kids sitting at my desks and at my table. So maybe they tolerate it but it is not their favorite.
After I asked for their preference of how to sit I asked specifically what their favorite spot in the room was and each kiddo only got to pick one. This was very well spread out as well, which I take to be a good thing. This might be why I have not seen very many arguments over spots: all the kids like different spots. The favorite spot with five votes was my wooden rocking chair. I sit there quite often myself. Besides the rocking chair every other spot mentioned had between one and three votes: the floor cushion, the standing table, anywhere on the floor, on pillows, and the yellow comfy chair. A few kids wrote everywhere was their favorite spot.
My last question was overall what they think about the classroom. I spotted some really great and steady trends through this answer. The students really like being able to choose. I think this is important because if we expect students to make good choices but never give them the option to choose, what are we really teaching them? Many students described the room as comfy and relaxing which is exactly what I was going for. These kids are eight years old; they do not need to be stressed out by school yet. A few kids said my room helps them think and learn better and many of them stated that being able to move around a lot was helpful for them. These are all terrific outcomes that I was hoping to achieve and I am really excited to see how self aware and reflective the kids are being.
I am going to give the same survey to my kids again throughout the year, as well as to my math and language arts class. I will also survey the parents after about a month and see how they perceive the room and what their kids say about it at home.