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Classroom Stage: How And Why

Do you want a stage for your classroom?  Need any ideas for using your classroom stage?  Guess what?  We have TWO stages in our classroom and this post explains how we use them and how to build them!

Why A Classroom Stage?

Yes, people.  We have 2 stages.   Would you expect anything less?!  Yes, we dance on the stage.    And yes I perform on the stage.  Yes, the kids dance on the stage.  We use the stage for seating, dancing, as a whiteboard and to access our smart board.
So, why a stage!?  Well…what happened was…the installers of our Promethean boards didn’t listen when I said our board needed to be low.  So…the kids couldn’t reach most of the board.
Enter my daddy.  He might be a little bitty man (no, really, he’s tiny.  About 5’5″) but he sure is handy!!!  The original stage was built completely from necessity.

What If The Fall?  Liability?  Safety?

Guess what?  They WILL fall off the stage.  Just like they fall off playground equipment and fall out of chairs.  Kids fall and it’s OK!   Honestly, the only person to fall off the stage is Mr. Greg.  True story.  Don’t let fear get in the way of doing what’s best and what’s right for kids!
As with everything in the classroom, we have rules for the stage.  You MUST go up and down the stairs on our big stage.  The only people who can sit on the stage are the ones Mr. Greg gives permission to.  We don’t kick the stage.
So, who gets to sit?  Ya’ll.  KEEP IT SIMPLE.  During independent work/centers, it’s first come first serve.  During whole group instruction, five kids can sit on the two stages and they can choose which one they want to sit on.  I simply divided our roster into groups of five and each day it’s the next group of five who get to sit on the stages all day.

THE STAGES!

Our original stage is the biggest stage and was built about 12 years ago.
This stage cost about $80 to build.
During the building process (which meant I used power tools…Yes…me..power tools.  And I still have all 10 fingers… GO ME!) I decided to make the top a lid.  People, that thing is full of goodies.  It’s a ton of storage for all of those things you very rarely use.  Now they’re not cluttering up the room.  BAM!
Here’s a side view.
Jason painted the stage black and added astroturf.  The astroturf is durable and keeps the noise down.  The black makes the stage look finished and professional!  (Note:  the astroturf lasted about 10 years until it needed replaced!)
So to build the stage we used press board (I think…) and these boards.  I measured them and they are 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″.  They give the stage support and stability.
So, here are the exact measurements of my stage since so many of you have asked for them!
(You can click the picture to download a PDF version of my amazing architectural drawing!)

Light Up Dance Platform/Stage

  A teacher shared their version of a stage with us and I knew I had to have one for my classroom.  This stage is a light-up stage!   It’s great for dance parties, teaching, and sitting and it’s just fun!
This platform was built by my dad.  And as always, he took on the project and nailed it.
The platform is 78 inches long, 18 inches high, and 24 inches deep.
This is what it looks like inside.  There are also 4 metal bars running from the center of the platform to the corners for extra bracing and support.
The panels were originally meant to be plexiglass.  But Dad said plexiglass breaks too easy so he actually went to a sign company and told them what he was doing and they recommended a poly-carbonate material that is also….wait for it ya’ll…DRY ERASE!  True story.  Tell me that Dad isn’t amazing.  So we can also write on the panels!  The lights are LED lights from Amazon.
Now we have a whole group area that functions a little like amphitheater seating.  That means more flexibility for whole group lessons and teaching.

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